All month long we are celebrating the Remarkable Women in the Panhandle that truly make a difference. These women were nominated by News 13 viewers and the finalists were selected by local judges.

Our next Remarkable Women finalist is Sharon Milner. She is a Bay County woman who continues to make an impact as a nurse, educator and mother.

Milner said believing in herself and telling herself she can do it has been what’s motivated her for her entire life.

“If you do not believe in yourself you cannot do anything,” she said. “That’s my opinion.”

These are words Milner would follow when she began a career in nursing in the early ’70s.

“At 19 I determined I wanted to be a nurse,” she said. “Why — because I want to help people and I’ve been helping people at least 43 years actively as a nurse.”

Around the same time she began her career, Milner met her husband.

He is an Air Force veteran who was stationed in Texas at the time. The two eventually settled here in the Panhandle, and Sharon began a career at Bay Medical working in Pediatrics.

“Sick children inspire me more than anything else as a nurse because they need you and you want to help them,” Milner said.

The impact Sharon had on the children’s lives tugged on her heart. It’s something she would feel again when she had the opportunity to help young aspiring nurses.

“I got a phone call,” Milner said. “And the phone call said ‘would you come and talk to us about being the Program Coordinator for our Practical Nursing Program in Gulf County?”

IN 1999, Sharon and a supervisor actually wrote up the nursing program and presented it to the board of nursing in Tallahassee.

“After they look at the book they said ‘do you have enough staff?’ and we said yes,” she said. “At that time we did have enough staff — me and a part-time secretary and that was it.”

Sharon said her time at Gulf Coast State College was some of the best years of her life.

In 2010, she hit a milestone with a 100% class pass rate.

“That’s all I got was one,” said Milner. “However all the classes were at least 80% pass rate, and when I left there was 16 classes that graduated with me being the program director.”

But even when it came to her successes as an educator and a nurse, Sharon’s top priority has always been taking care of the people at home.

“I just can’t say enough about having my son and my daughter and my husband they are very special people to me,” she said.

As a wife and a mother, Sharon’s experience as a nurse has been essential.

In 2016, she said she retired from the college because she was needed at home.

“I have had to take care of all of them medically since I retired,” she said. “And it has been very rewarding for me, just like it is rewarding for taking care of someone in the hospital — taking care of my family.”

Milner’s sacrifices as a mother haven’t gone unnoticed.

Sharon’s daughter Glenesha actually nominated her as a Remarkable Woman.

Glenesha said she wants her mother to see herself through their eyes.

“She is an amazing mom, said Glenesha. “That is probably the number one thing. Me and my brother have been through a lot in our adult years and she just doesn’t stop being a mom and she has unconditional love.”

Even when life got busy with everything else Sharon was accomplishing, Glenesha said her mother never let that distract her from life at home.

Sharon Milner is now retired, but you may recognize her. She now gives hearing tests to newborns at a local hospital.