Thursday, 18 April 2019 12:14

73 students complete first big step toward nursing career

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Nursing Assistant student Caroline Walker was a guest speaker at the Pinning Ceremony held for students completing the program at Richmond Community College. Walker is a Richmond Senior High School student dually enrolled at RichmondCC. Nursing Assistant student Caroline Walker was a guest speaker at the Pinning Ceremony held for students completing the program at Richmond Community College. Walker is a Richmond Senior High School student dually enrolled at RichmondCC. Richmond Community College

HAMLET — Seventy-three students in the Therapeutic and Diagnostics program at Richmond Community College were pinned on April 15 during a special ceremony recognizing their completion of the program. Pending passing the N.C. Certified Nursing Assistant Written and Skills test, they can become CNAs.

Dr. Dale McInnis, College president, noted that this was the first step in their nursing career and thanked them for making RichmondCC their starting point for such a noble career.

“I’m very proud of each and everyone of you. Where you go from here today depends on you. You all share the same license, same knowledge, same skill set and same opportunities,” he said. “While this is the end of one stage, it is the beginning of a very bright future.” 

Once the students earn their certification, they can enter a career as a CNA or apply to the nursing program at RichmondCC. One of the requirements for admission into the Associate Degree Nursing  program is successful completion of the Nursing Assistant course.

Of the students receiving their pins, 50 had completed the Nursing Assistant I program, and 23 completed the Nursing Assistant II program.

Four students with high grade-point averages were recognized during the ceremony and given awards for their academic achievements. These students were Makayla Hall, Annette Morrison, Jamie Richardson and Jessica Canter.

Two students were also invited to speak during the ceremony and tell about their journey to getting to this milestone moment. 

Kacey McLaughlin started the Nursing Assistant program in 2010, but then she got in a really bad car accident. After her long stay in the hospital and going through months of physical therapy, she questioned her plan to becoming a nurse. She switched gears and enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at RichmondCC. After graduating in 2015, she began working as a substitute teacher while also working at Food Lion. 

As a full-time employee and full-time mother of four children, McLaughlin said completing the Nursing Assistant program was quite an accomplishment. 

“You’ve heard my story, my reasons why, my goals and what inspires me. So I leave you with these questions. What is your reason why and what is your goal? I hope you strive and succeed in all of your goals just as I’ve done,” McLaughlin told her classmates.

Caroline Walker is a student at Richmond Senior High School who is taking free college classes at RichmondCC through the Career and College Promise dual enrollment program. She was hesitant at first to take college classes, but her mother told her she was “crazy” if she didn’t take advantage of this opportunity. 

By taking a number of college classes and completing the Nursing Assistant program at RichmondCC, Walker has not only qualified for the RichmondCC Guarantee (two years free tuition), she has also been accepted into the ADN program. She will begin the program at RichmondCC this fall. 

In addition, she qualified for the RIBN program at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, so she will have a spot in UNCP’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program when she graduates from RichmondCC.

“I really feel like this is what God has placed in my life for me to do,” Walker said. “My ultimate goal in life is to help people in every way that I can, and I wanted to do that with my career.”

Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator Shelia Adams explained the significance of the pin they earned by completing the program and told them to treasure it like a precious jewel.

“Students, our Nursing Assistant faulty and Richmond Community College will always consider you to be our precious jewels,” Adams said. “Go forth, make a positive impact. Make a positive commitment to health care.”

The ceremony concluded with the students reciting the Nursing Assistant prayer.

To learn more about the nursing programs at RichmondCC, visit www.richmondcc.edu/academics/programs or call 910-410-1730.

Seventy-three students in the Therapeutic and Diagnostics program at Richmond Community College were pinned on April 15 during a special ceremony recognizing their completion of the program.