Answering the Call of Nursing
More than 600 people were on hand to see the New Community School of Practical Nursing, Class of 2013, take part in the traditional Pinning and Capping Ceremony that marks the completion of months of rigorous study.
Held on the evening of July 18 at the New Community Neighborhood Center in Newark, the ceremony offered the opportunity for both friends and family membersto offer congratulations to 82 graduates on a job well done. Some of the students had to overcome obstacles ranging from homelessness to losing a loved one in order to complete the rigorous, 16-month program that prepares one to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN.
“This is a joyous occasion. I know how hard you’ve worked and have had to overcome roadblocks placed in front of you by life,” said Richard Rohrman, NCC Executive Director, as he congratulated the graduates.
Many students credited Ellen Boddie, the nursing school director and lead instructor, with lending the kind of support that helped them succeed in the program.
“She’s a fantastic instructor. For me, it was paced in a way I could do it because I had to work,” said Lorna McCalla of East Orange, who attended school in the daytime and worked as a nursing assistant at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville during the evenings.
McCalla emerged as the top student for the Day Division, while Paul Ilori, one of several male graduates, was recognized as the top student for the Evening Division.
Kerean Thomas was presented with the Monsignor William J. Linder Pride in Caring Award, which recognizes a student that has displayed a great deal of compassion during the hands-on, clinical portion of the course.
“Anybody can call for a nurse, but when a nurse is called, a person is commissioned to do a very special job…We are here this evening because 82 nurses have been called…Go forth and touch lives and make a difference in the world,” Frances Teabout, Director of Mission for New Community, told the graduates in her keynote address.
The ceremony was steeped in tradition, as all 82 graduates wore white and also lit candles before reciting together the Practical Nursing Pledge.
Balloons, flowers and congratulatory hugs awaited them following the ceremony, along with a buffet dinner prepared by the chefs from New Community Extended Care Center and the Culinary Arts Specialist Program.
For more information on the New Community School of Practical Nursing, please call the New Community Workforce Development Center at 973 824-6484.