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16 New Practical Nursing Program Graduates




Class 118 Graduate Nurses

Friends and family gathered on March 22, 2016 to congratulate 16 new graduate practical nurses from the Chester County Intermediate Unit Practical Nursing Program. 

Dr. Kirk Williard, Chester County Intermediate Unit’s (CCIU) director of Career, Technical and Customized Education programs, gave the first address speaking to the growing need for nurses in the United States.  As baby boomers age, the senior population is projected to grow to 20% of the total population by 2030, jumping to 72 million citizens from today’s 35 million.  This increases the demand for nurses, especially in the rehabilitation, geriatric and hospice fields.

As the acting director of the program, Nancy K. Haughton, MSN RN, presented the graduates including salutatorian Douglass Zeigler and valedictorian Melissa Piccoli.  Ten of the graduates were recognized with a certificate and pin as members of the National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses Honor Society.  These students achieved a Level average of 85 or above at the completion of Level III of the program.  Recognized were Ashley Alicea-Profeto, Julia Barbati, Melissa Carlson, Nicholas Hoopes, Melissa Piccoli, Meghan Robbins, Carmen Sylvester, Colleene Tarlo, Lindsey Watson and Douglass Zeigler.

Piccoli told those gathered, “We now stand before you not only as nurses, but as teachers, advocates, and a compassionate hand to hold.”  She talked about the smiles, fears, tears and laughter they shared together over the past 15 months.  In closing she reminded them, “When you see that nursing student standing there terrified to interrupt you to ask you a question or for report, greet them with a smile and show them what nursing is really about.”

Lisa Carroll, former instructor for the practical nursing program, was selected by the class as their guest speaker. 

Class president, Nicholas Hoopes, led the class in the Practical Nursing Pledge.  Graduate student nurses promised that they would “endeavor to conserve life, alleviate suffering and promote health,” and to be an “advocate to those in need,” and “practice my vocation as a responsible member of the health care profession.”