The Susquehanna Career and Technology Center provided the medical profession with eight new nurses on Friday during the center’s Practical Nursing Program commencement.
Theresa Ann Carter of Meshoppen, Courtney Lynn Cook of Montrose, Myriah Alice Crane of Meshoppen, Mazie Lin Depew of Springville, Elizabeth Rose Fink of Binghamton, N.Y., Penny Jo Jones of Laceyville, Caitlin Mroz of Susquehanna, and Joshua Martin Neary of Great Bend each received their diplomas of Practical Nursing, plus the tradition nursing pin in the Elk Lake High School auditorium.
Following the invocation given by Elk Lake Dean of Students William Squier, SCCTC Executive Director Alice Davis gave the opening remarks, in which she said the graduates had given “blood, sweat and tears,” to achieve their goal.
Davis said the eight students are the “best of the best,’ because they have all demonstrated attentiveness, tenderness and flexibility in their chosen profession.
Remarks were given by SCCTC school board member Donica McGee, who said that everyone at one point in their lives wakes up and wonders what they are doing here.
Some choose to take the safe path and follow the same routine. But these graduates, she said, took the hard path, and accomplished what they set out to do.
The health care profession is now the most popular profession in the U.S., McGee continued, just as manufacturing was in the 1990s. She urged the students to continue their noble cause, and if she ever gets to the point where she needs medical care, she hopes it would be the type that the eight graduates will be providing to their patients.
Elizabeth Fink provided the student address, in which she spoke about the “blood, sweat and tears,” they all had to give to reach graduation. A lot of blood was seen in the operating room, she said. The sweat occurred on the shuttle buses that transported them to such areas as Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, as well as back home. The tears occurred when one studied all night for a test, but still failed or didn’t do as well as expected.
But there were also tears of joy when they passed their exams, and knew they were going to make it.
Fink also thanked her teachers and fellow students, sharing memories of what had occurred as they worked to obtain their diplomas.
Another student address was given by Mazie Lynn Depew, who said she hopes everyone feels relieved to be graduating, and are looking forward to excelling in the next step. Now begins a time when they will make life better for others, she said.
One of the addresses to the candidates was given by Casey Williams, LPN, who obtained her nursing degree from SCCTC in September 2016. Williams said she misses the classes and teachers from the school, but is very proud of her career as a nurse.
Through classes at SCCTC, as well as trips to Robert Packer Hospital, she learned many valuable lessons in patient care which helped her immensely in her chosen profession, Williams said. Although many times it was difficult while studying at SCCTC, she never lost her enthusiasm for wanting to become a nurse.
Another Address to the candidates was given by Clinical Supervisor Karen Killian, RN, who shared many humorous moments with the audience about incidents with the students that occurred while they were working toward obtaining their degrees.
Killian spoke about how one time Caitlin Mroz, who is pregnant, came up to her holding her stomach and saying she did not feel well.
“I thought, ‘Oh no!’” Killian said, explaining that her experiences in nursing does not include delivering babies.
Putting the call out at SCCTC, Killian said they could not find anyone who had any background in obstetrics. Finally, someone volunteered to drive Mroz to the hospital, where they were able to take care of her.
Killian said Mroz did not have the baby that day, but is expected to deliver it shortly after graduation.
Awards were presented to the following people: Florence Nightingale Award - Elizabeth Rose Fink; Mary Breckinridge Award - Courtney Lynn Cook; Virginia Henderson Award, Theresa Ann Carter; Clara Barton Award - Mazie Lin Depew; Edith Cavell Award - Penny Jo Jones; and Anna Maxwell Award - Caitlin Mroz.
Class Salutatorian was Joshua Neary who thanked his family, teachers and classmates for helping him achieve his goal. They all had to travel near and far to obtain the necessary training, he said, and now they are ready for new challenges.
Class Valedictorian was Myra Crane, who said that many times she wondered if she made the right decision of going into nursing. But she continued to persevere and each time she succeeded, she was encouraged to continue further and try harder.
Crane said she wished her father, who had passed away, could be there at her graduation.
“Every time I got a ‘99’ I could hear him say, ‘Well, where’s the ‘1,’” she said.
“Remember where you come from and why you are here,” Crane said. “I’ve pushed myself, and now all I can say is thank you.”