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NCCC nursing grads forming alumni group

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MALONE - Spring is an exciting time for the North Country Community College Nursing Program.

Not only will 19 registered nursing students and 27 licensed practical nursing students be graduating from the Malone campus, but on May 2 the campus will hold its first nursing alumni reception, which will allow current students to mingle with graduates.

The reception is part of a larger initiative to increase alumni involvement with the college being spearheaded by NCCC Assisstant Professor of Nursing Lorraine White.

The nursing program is NCCC’s largest. It is a one-plus-one program, meaning upon completion of the first year students are eligible to take their licensed practical nursing (LPN) exam. Students must pass the LPN exam in order to continue to study to become an RN, which is the second year of the program. After finishing their second year, students can sit for the RN exam.

The 90-percent passing rate for each exam for NCCC students is above the national average.

“We are very proud of our program,” Ms. White said. “We work very hard to teach our students and we are very dedicated to what we do.”

With so many graduates out in the real world practicing what they learned at NCCC, Ms. White thinks having a reception for alumni and current students will be a great experience for everyone involved.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this,” Ms. White said. “It’s a chance for people who have not seen each other in awhile to catch up. I thought it would be nice to have our alumni honored at the gathering and give current students insight into the field they will be working in.”

The reception is the first step in getting alumni back involved with NCCC. Ms. White said the nursing program is hoping to host more alumni gatherings. They also would like to eventually have seminars and workshops that would be open to all nurses with the hope that they would like to remain involved in the happenings of the college.

“We would like to get the nurses within the surrounding community interested in the college again so they know NCCC is available to them in the community,” she said.

Ms. White also mentioned that the nursing program is looking to set up a scholarship fund since educators realize that students give up a lot to attend school and many of them have families.

“We should be able to help them realize their dream,” she said. “If we can help students along, that would be beneficial.”

Nursing students can look forward to an interesting future because, as Ms. White said, the profession is always changing.

In order to accommodate a field constantly affected by new developments in research and technological breakthroughs, the nursing program is looking to update some of its teaching equipment.

Currently, the program is looking for grants that would allow NCCC to buy each of its three campuses a mannequin that will simulate how the human body works, from breathing noises to other bodily functions.

Ms. White noted nursing education will change drastically around 202, when all RNs will be required to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). She said that NCCC is in the process of affiliating with Drexel University to set up a BSN program. Students would complete two years at NCCC and pass their RN exam. While working as nurses, they can complete their bachelor’s degree through Drexel online.

Even though there are many changes to come in the future, Ms. White said the focus of nursing is always on the patient.

“Nurses promote health, prevent illness, restore health, and facilitate coping with disability or death,” she said. “These are the aims of nursing, so we are very important to the community.”

The alumni reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 2 at the NCCC Malone campus. For more information on the reception or about the NCCC nursing program, please call 518-483-4550.

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