MOUNT VERNON — Friday marked the halfway point for students enrolled in the Knox County Adult Career Center School of Practical Nursing program. In a tradition going back to Florence Nightingale, the aspiring nurses received caps to celebrate the completion of the first level in their pursuit of a nursing career. Caps are traditionally awarded to students when they are ready to begin their clinical training. In lieu of caps, the male members of the class received pins to display on their collars.
Adult Workforce supervisor Ken Boeshart served as master of ceremonies, welcoming students, families and friends to the school’s 29th recognition ceremony. He congratulated the students for making it through the myriad of challenges so far and encouraged them to continue to persevere in the next level of the program.
The recognition address was delivered by Jennifer Blandi-Scruggs, LPN. A graduate of the KCCC LPN program, she now serves as a lab assistant in the program, which, she said, is “dear to her heart.”
She praised the students for reaching the midpoint in a difficult and challenging program, and acknowledged the sacrifices made by students and their families and friends to make it thus far. Blandi-Scruggs told the class members they would be forever changed by being a nurse and would touch many lives in their careers.
“Keep up the hard work and follow your dreams,” she said.
Jami Nininger, program coordinator, also commended the families.
“Without your support and love,” she said, “these students would have had a much tougher highway to travel.”
Program instructors Judi Blandi, Denise Ruza and Daniele Marsh assisted in the capping rite of passage.
After the capping ceremony, Leah Donegan, Cindy Fontes, Ashley Grassbaugh, Roslyn Myers and Sarah Shaw received perfect attendance certificates, and the class recited the practical nursing promise.
Before a reception honoring the class, students Andrea Davis and Andrea McCord expressed the class’ appreciation to the instructors and gave them small gifts of thanks.
The KCCC School of Practical Nursing Class of 2009 includes Lisa Baker, Sharree Barclay, Jennifer Barker, Angela Baughman, Valerie Berridge, Jessica Betka, Melissa Bristow, Daisy Coffing, Davis, Jennifer DeRan, Elizabeth Doane, Donegan, Diane Elbin, Fontes, Mary Ann Fowler, Sherry Fox, Whitney Gorsuch, Grassbaugh, Monisha Grooms, Bobbie Hendricks, Shana Holsinger.
Sarah Landis, Jewellene McConnell, Stacy McConnell, McCord, Summer Melick, Myers, Michelle Neal, Doshie Oliver, Michelle Palmer, Linda Patrick, Ben Pelton, Tonya Pentycofe, Nicole Pope, Elaine Rhodes, Shaw, Roxanne Sherman, Sean Stevens, Brennen Tucker, Kathleen Waits, Kenny Williams and Latoya Williams.