The Division of Health Sciences at Coahoma Community College recently pinned the Practical Nursing Class of 2020 with 18 earning their certificates of completion and qualified to serve others in healthcare.
Practical Nursing is a twelve-month certificate program offered at Coahoma. The program prepares students to assist in providing general nursing care under the direction of a registered nurse, physician, or dentist. The ultimate goal prepares its graduate for the successful completion of the NCLEX-PN and practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Katina White, MSN, RN, and Associate Degree of Nursing instructor served as guest speaker.
White, who is a former graduate of the Coahoma PN program, encouraged the graduates to be change-agile during this new normal, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. She recounted what a Coahoma education did for her career.
“I know how you feel. Because 25 years ago, I was in the same place where you are graduating from the Practical Nursing program here at Coahoma,” White proudly said. “Completing the program here at Coahoma was the great foundational start to my nursing career.”
White explained her excitement upon her very own graduation, connecting with the honorees. She also touched on today’s challenges in a COVID-19 world.
“I believe you all are excited, ready to excel and celebrate and mingle with family and friends,” White exclaimed. “But wait! Something is different. Life’s circumstances have changed the way we must react to our excitement.”
“Although ready to exhale, we are afraid to inhale. Feeling smothered from wearing masks, wearing gloves and giving air-hugs at least six feet away,” White added.
White closed by congratulating the graduates and encouraged them to do well in the future.
“There is much work to be done. I know you will do well. Congratulations Class of 2020,” said White.
Edie Furniss Scholarship
A highlight of the event was the awarding of the Edie Furniss Scholarship to PN graduate Chequida Nawls.
Nawls, a native of Clarksdale, was excited to receive the award and has hopes for the future.
“I had no idea. When she (Annie Hankins) mentioned my name, I couldn’t believe it,” said Nawls. “It was awesome. I would never have thought I would be recognized as a nontraditional student. It meant a lot to me!”
The Edie Furniss Scholarship is an annual $500 cash award given to a graduate licensed practical nurse who is over 25 years of age and who has overcome many obstacles to receive his/her degree. The scholarship was established in 1993 by State Senator Delma Furniss in honor of his wife, who received her LPN degree at age 31 and her RN degree at age 34.
Nawls expressed that the road to graduating from the program was long. Her sister, who passed away in 2016, always pushed her towards her goals. That is what ultimately helped her to reach the achievement.
“My sister was an LPN. When I first started at Coahoma, it was 2006, and I didn’t complete the program,” said Nawls. “I was going through a little rough patch, and she was on me about finishing school, and I never did. She passed away at the end of 2016. One morning, I woke up and said I’m going to finish school like my sister wanted me to.”
Nawls encourages anyone seeking to pursue an education to stay the course and never give up. She cited that age should never be a deterrent in one’s journey.
“You’re never too old to finish school,” Nawls adamantly expressed. “It’s never too late to finish college. I tell my son and daughter that all the time. I felt awkward, but I was determined to reach my goal. I got used to being the oldest person in my class for three years.”
Nawls plans on continuing her studies at a familiar locale, right here at Coahoma, enrolling in RN program.
The Practical Nursing Program is fully accredited by the Mississippi Community College Board, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, Mississippi 39211. Telephone Number: 601-432-6518.
For more information about Coahoma Health Science programs, contact 662-621-4210 or visit www.coahomacc.edu.