Registered nurse Tina DeLaughter provides medical oversight and care for New Hope Academy staff, students and families through a partnership with Mercy Community Healthcare.

By Carla Hendricks

FRANKLIN, TN — Through a partnership with Mercy Community Healthcare, New Hope Academy, a Christian private school in Franklin, welcomed nurse Tina DeLaughter to its Pre-K through sixth grade students and their families. In 2008 Mercy began offering in-school counselling services at New Hope Academy, and both organizations are excited to expand their relationship.

“We are thrilled to offer this new service line, and it is fitting to begin it with New Hope Academy, a longtime partner of Mercy,” Mercy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Don Gibson said. “New Hope Academy shares many of Mercy’s values, as we both seek to serve families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. It is a joy to work with this outstanding organization, and we look forward to a prosperous partnership.”

Tina DeLaughter, an Intensive Care Unit nurse for seven years, including four years at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, began her full-time role at New Hope in September. Having served adults during her previous nursing career, she trained on the pediatric side of medicine at Mercy for a few weeks before reporting to her new post.

“I’ve been blessed with New Hope and Mercy partnering together,” DeLaughter told the Tennessee Tribune. “Mercy is a great organization, led by godly people with a similar mission as New Hope’s. I think with everything that’s going on with COVID, there was a need here at the school for someone with a medical background to help with decisions that are COVID-related.”

Prior to her RN training, DeLaughter spent nine years as a middle and high school math teacher. Her education background provides further preparation as a nurse in an educational setting. 

“Tina’s experience as an educator before becoming a nurse, was a huge piece for our team,” Mercy Director of Nursing Beth Ann Wilmore told the Tennessee Tribune. “Her knowledge about nursing and her organizational skills are an asset to us. We are starting fresh with the nursing position at New Hope, so we’ve had to implement new protocols, processes and documentation. And now with COVID, we’ve had to figure out how we can protect and keep everyone safe. She’s been such a blessing to us.”

DeLaughter has another experience in her background that contributes to her love for New Hope Academy. New Hope’s Head of School, Dr. Devin DeLaughter, is her husband of 17 years. 

“It’s been great,” Nurse DeLaughter said. “I’ve never been able to be involved in the school much since I work full time. I get to tie in my love for New Hope with my career. I get to be in this environment every day, and I get to know the kids and their families. Before, I would come for a program or school event. Now I get to be here every day, and it’s been a good experience for me.”