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As proud family and friends looked on, the 17 members of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Class of 2018 received their hard earned pins during the annual LPN Pinning Ceremony. The ceremony for the students who completed their LPN studies in December of 2018 was held January 10 in the Mary Burch Theater.
“We have come to the end of this phase,” class President Augustine Omwan said. “But remember, this is just the beginning as we continue to move along in our careers.”
In fact, the students are preparing for the all-important NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical Nurses), a requirement to earn a state license.
“Right now we are looking at the future leaders of the nursing profession right here at Essex County College,” President Anthony E. Munroe said. “You have taken just the first step in the profession of nursing.”
A number of the graduates, including Augustine and Nacelia Kerr, said they will continue in the College’s Nursing Associate degree program to become Registered Nurses.
“I started with the LPN program in order to get my foot into the profession,” said Nacelia, a resident of Nutley. While weighing all her nursing options, she said her first choice is pediatric care.
Augustine said he first became interested in the nursing profession while working a number of years ago as a youth missionary in his home land of Nigeria. “I clearly saw all the help these people needed,” said Augustine, now 42.
The final nudge for the Orange resident was several years ago when he needed a stent. “I saw all the caring the nurses provided me” and that was his clincher.
In her comments to the graduates, Nursing Professor Dr. Evadne Harrison-Madu also related a personal story. Dr. Madu said that when she had to be a patient, she was very impressed with the dedication and caring of her nurse. “When I asked where she received her education, she said ‘Essex County College.’ Now that made me extremely proud!”
Suze Vertus, with a grade point average of 3.77, was the LPN class valedictorian. Gay Stephenson, with a 3.55 gpa, was class salutatorian and also the recipient of one of the Clinical Excellence awards. Nacelia also received the award for Clinical Excellence. Doris Ugwumadu received the Florence Nightingale Award while Augustine was the recipient of the Leadership Award. Loretta Baker was presented with the Community Service Award and the award as the Most Improved Student.