As family and friends proudly looked on, the 28 members of Essex County College’s Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Class of 2017 received their hard earned pins during the December 1 ceremony held in the Mary Burch Theater.
“It’s a high honor to be called into the ministry of healing,” Essex President Dr. Anthony E. Munroe told the graduates. “You have the opportunity to touch the lives of so many people; never take that for granted.”
Members of this year’s LPN class entered the health field for a variety of reasons.
For Irini Brassington, growing up in a family already in the medical profession provided her with a “good foundation.” The Maplewood resident said she was going through available Essex majors that would suit her needs, and figured the LPN Academic Certificate program would be an ideal starting point.
“Five years from now I may be a nurse practitioner or in a doctoral program; but LPN is a good first step for me,” said Irini, who served as the class president and received the Leadership Award.
LPN class Valedictorian was Lucie Ceran and Salutatorian was Maria Ceballos.
Dorcas Todom, Maria Ceballos and Jamirah Murphy received the Community Service Award; Nathan Therlonge and Amarech Wondimu the Clinical Excellence Award; Ezerea Brassington, the Most Improved Student Award, and Yolledie Etienne, the Florence Nightingale Award.
Next up for the students is the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical Nurses), a requirement to earn a state license.
Dr. Gale Gage, Acting Chair of Nursing, pointed out at the ceremony that Essex students have two consecutive quarters of 100 percent pass rate on the first try. “And I know you can do it too,” she said amid audience applause.