First nursing program inducts students
BY PAT FARNELLI
A special and historic induction of the county’s first nurse training program welcomed the inaugural licensed practical nurse (LPN) class of the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center Saturday, with candles, yellow roses and…stethoscopes.
The Florence Nightingale ceremony was held in the Elk Lake Auditorium, and State Representatives Sandra Major and Tina Pickett were there to mark the occasion.
“It is exciting to be here for the first induction for the first LPN program,” Major said. “I wholeheartedly applaud your choosing the health care field. Nurses are hardworking, compassionate, strong willed people who carry out their duties with grace and empathy.”
Pickett said she was excited to see, for the first time, a nursing program offered right in the students’ own county. “It is my hope that these future nurses will be able to practice nursing right here,” she said. “I know, without question that you are the future of your field.”
Sherrie Bazin, MSN, RN-BC, is the SCCTC’s nursing director and LPN coordinator. She said a few people had asked if this would be a pinning ceremony. “We will be doing that later, when they complete the program. This is an induction ceremony,” Bazin said.
Years ago, nursing students would receive their starched white caps at an early point in their training, Bazin explained. Caps have become somewhat obsolete in contemporary nurse workplaces, so the Littman stethoscope was chosen as a symbol of commencing their studies.
“They will use this item in their practice for years to come. This item will remind them to aspire to excellence in their academic and practice activities. The stethoscope represents the lamp carried by Florence Nightingale.”
Alice Davis, SCCTC Director said the $200 state of the art instruments are a part of the program’s quality design.
Bazin described how Nightingale, known as “the lady with the lamp,” would move through the corridors checking on soldiers with a small light, not wanting to disturb them more than necessary.
“The lamp “was a symbol of all Florence Nightingale stood for, comfort and kindness and courage, and an unswerving devotion to duty. Perhaps deep down, she knew even then that the light from it would go on shining far into the future,” read an excerpt from “A Lamp for Elizabeth” by Kathleen O’Farrell that was reprinted in the program.
Bazin said that the lamp also reflects the trust placed in nursing by society.
She looked into the audience and said, “We appreciate that you gave up this year of your loved one’s time and energy,” adding, “I also want to thank my own family. They gave up so much, already.”
As their names were called, the nursing students, dressed in yellow uniform shirts, were presented a box with their stethoscope, then proceeded down the steps from the stage to light a candle and receive a fresh yellow rose.
The students have completed the first of four levels in their studies to become licensed professionals. At the end of the one year LPN program, the nurses can begin working in the health care field or can bridge to a registered nursing program offered in cooperation with Mansfield University.
Afterward, the families and friends of the nursing students were invited to a reception in the LPN program’s clinic lab, surrounded by medical mannequins in hospital beds and other training equipment. The SCCTC’s food management program provided an array of desserts and lemonade while a Powerpoint presentation showed slides of the students in their classes and in training in area hospitals and nursing homes.
The SCCTC is currently accepting applications for the LPN class starting in January 2014.