KCC Graduates First Cohort of Practical Nursing Students
Klamath Community College is pleased to announce the graduation of its inaugural class of practical nursing students. The students, who will participate in a pinning ceremony on Dec. 9 to mark the accomplishment, comprise the first cohort of students to go through the college’s new Practical Nursing Program, which began in March of this year.
“All of the students who will participate in the pinning have completed all of the requirements for becoming a licensed practical nurse except the national board examination,” said Practical Nursing Program Director Lori James. The students are scheduled to take the national board exam (NCLEX-PN) in early 2012.
Upon successful completion of the exam, students will be qualified to work as licensed practical nurses. According to James, about half of the students in the cohort plan to remain in the Klamath Falls area to do just that. Others are actively pursuing a bridge program that will allow them to continue working toward becoming registered nurses.
The Dec. 9 pinning ceremony is a long-standing tradition in the nursing field. It signifies the commissioning of the students to begin their nursing careers as graduates of KCC. Each nursing school has its own pin design (see attached for KCC’s design). The highlights of the ceremony are the Nightingale Pledge and Candlelighting Ceremony. “Due to her selfless duty during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale became known as the ‘lady with the lamp,’” James said. “She is also the person responsible for starting modern nursing schools. The nursing graduates honor her dedication and accomplishments with these two components of the ceremony.”
With the inaugural cohort of practical nursing students moving on, KCC is now accepting applications for the second cohort, scheduled to begin in April 2012. Because the curriculum in the Practical Nursing Program is so intensive, students must complete all general education and prerequisite courses prior to starting the Practical Nursing Program. The deadline for applications for the next cohort is January 20, 2012.
“I am honored to have taught these individuals,” James said. “As the first group to go through the program together, we shared many challenges. I know they have what it takes to become successful and accomplished nurses and I am looking forward to working with another group of students.”