WELLSBORO — The Pennsylvania College of Technology campus here celebrated the graduation of 18 students from the practical nursing program on Thursday, Aug. 27. The graduates are now eligible to take the NCLEX exam for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Few people were able to attend the ceremony due to limitations from COVID-19, but the team from Penn College made it possible for students to share the moment with friends and family through sharing an online stream on Zoom.
Graduate Melissa Metcalf said that community members stood on the sidewalk while the ceremony was in progress and cheered the students from the sidelines.
Dr. Jason Zielewicz, director of Workforce Development for Wellsboro, and Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Pennsylvania College of Technology, welcomed everyone.
Opening remarks were given by Christopher Ray, executive director of Business Development. The guest speaker, Natalie DeLeonardis, an instructor and coordinator of the nursing program, was chosen by the graduating class, as well as student speaker, Sara Buchholz. Buchholz shared memories of the class from their time over the past year.
Lauren Scheetz, coordinator of the Practical Nursing program, and GeorgeAnn Foreman, instructor, presented the certificates and pins to the graduates. Breanna Fillmore received the Academic Achievement Award. April Thompson, Breanna Fillmore, Kylah Thompson and Lacey Graham all received the Perfect Attendance Award.
“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, all the students were successful in completing all of the requirements in this intense one-year program. After the students obtain licensure, they will be able to obtain work as an LPN in hospitals, nursing homes, and many other facilities as LPN’s are in short supply throughout the region,” said Marie Van Ess of the Workforce Development.
Dawn Timmons, a graduate, said that she has seen personal growth through applying her knowledge, at work as a certified nursing assistant and personally.
Timmons believes people should become a part of the nursing program if they have an interest. It is a good program because there are small classes and the opportunity for more one-on-one time with instructors.
“I felt as though, after a while, we all became one big nursing family. We all encouraged each other and that is what nursing is about. We are all a team and we all work together. We all motivated each other and celebrated together. It is an amazing thing. I am grateful I did this program and learned as much as I could, surrounded by people who really cared and pushed me to be better,” Timmons said.
Van Ess said that Penn College at Wellsboro will be offering another Practical Nursing Program starting Sept. 21 with graduation scheduled for Sept. 9, 2021. The program will also be offered at the Education Council’s Coudersport office. For more information about Pen College at Wellsboro, call 570-724-7703 or email [email protected]