Vance-Granville Community College honored 22 students who have completed its one-year Practical Nursing program during a pinning ceremony on May 10 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. Upon receiving diplomas, graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national exam for licensed practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).
Among the graduates recognized at the ceremony were Lilian Schleifer of Apex; Heather P. Tunstall of Creedmoor; Winrose Githiiyi, Annah Ongeri and Dorcas Smith, all of Durham; Jessica Rooks of Franklinton; William T. Autrey and Andrea’ N. Thompson, both of Henderson; Lisa Perry, Maena J. Simmons and Nzinga N. Taliaferro, all of Louisburg; Jennifer R. Crowder, Amber C. McKee, Latonya R. Morton and Kaneshea N. Thomas, all of Oxford; Emilee Carlson, Jane M. Gathogo, Adeola Sonaiya, Jeanne M. Tropnas and Rita Udjoh, all of Raleigh; Branice Chogo of Rougemont; and Sarala Neupane of Wake Forest.
In her welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, the college’s vice president of academic and student affairs, congratulated the students on completing the rigorous program, which included precepting rotations at local health-care facilities during their final semester. She described the graduating class as “a diverse group of ladies – and one gentleman – ranging in age from their twenties to their fifties.” Ballentine said that most members of the class expressed interest in continuing their education to become Registered Nurses.
VGCC Nursing Department Chair Erica Jastrow added her congratulations to the graduates on their success. “With success comes great responsibility,” she said. “These students will have the responsibility of preparing for a challenging licensing exam, and then keeping their patients safe, caring for them as if they were their own family members, and working with their team members to create a positive work environment. I am confident that they will accept these responsibilities and will excel in them.”
Lilian Schleifer, the class president, made remarks on behalf of her fellow students. “We met at this college as strangers from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and, over 18 months, we have bonded and become a family,” she said. “We were once novices, and now we are nursing powerhouses. We have learned skills, we have become stronger and more confident, and are ready to take our services to our communities.” Schleifer said she hoped one day to put her skills to use in the village in Kenya where she grew up. She expressed the graduates’ thanks to the faculty and staff for their “patience and diligence” and to their families for their support.
VGCC Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas presented an academic award to Jane Gathogo for having the highest grade point average among the graduates.
The ceremonies concluded with the graduates receiving their distinctive pins, roses and lamps. Finally, instructor Heather Wilson led the group in reciting the “Florence Nightingale Pledge” by candlelight.