The Star-Herald

NMCC practical nursing graduates bridge skills gap in local healthcare

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Saturday, Oct. 15 NMCC held a pinning ceremony for the practical nursing students that began their training in January. The PN program is a 9-month grant-funded certificate program supported by the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan.

As a fully funded program, tuition, books and supplies are provided at no cost to the students. The next cohort is scheduled to begin in January 2023.

 The ceremony recognized 17 graduates, and in keeping with nursing tradition, each graduate was “pinned” by a family member or loved one. The event was held at the Presque Isle Middle School’s auditorium. The formal ceremony closed with a group reading of the Florence Nightingale Pledge, a modified Hippocratic Oath for nursing professionals.

 In 2019 NMCC added the practical nursing program to address the healthcare staffing shortage. Adding PNs to the workforce bridges the skills gap by allowing registered nurses to work at the top of their licensure.

 These students are currently scheduled to take their NCLEX-PN licensure examination and will join the workforce as licensed professionals starting in November or December. Graduates of the practical nursing program can work in various settings that include long-term care, hospitals, home care, group homes, provider offices, and others.

The pinning ceremony is a chance for staff, faculty, family, and friends to recognize the students’ achievements. NMCC Instructor Angela Davis said, “The pinning ceremony is a time-honored nursing tradition that welcomes the completed LPNs to the profession of nursing. This NMCC program is re-introducing LPNs to the workforce during a time when they are needed. This group and the others to follow will strengthen the workforce and the high quality of care that clients and patients have come to expect from NMCC graduates.” 

 To learn more about NMCC’s 9-month practical nursing certificate program, or to explore other programs, visit nmcc.edu or call admissions at 207-768-2785.

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