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Valley Tech Honors Practical Nursing Class of 2017

PN Class of 2017 A nervous, excited energy filled the hallways of Blackstone Valley Tech as 24 students dressed in the traditional all-white outfit of nurses assembled for the last time as Practical Nursing students. On January 25, the students in Blackstone Valley Tech’s Post-Secondary Practical Nursing Class of 2017 heard their names called, received their pins, recited the Practical Nurse’s Pledge and celebrated their graduation. 
The group of 24 adult students took part in the commencement ceremony, which marked the culmination of more than one year spent balancing responsibilities to family and work with over 1,000 hours of instruction. Members of the Class of 2017 received certificates in practical nursing and are now eligible to become licensed practical nurses by sitting for the National Council Licensure Examination (N-CLEX). 
The Michael F. Fitzpatrick Competition Center at Blackstone Valley Tech was filled with proud BVT staff, parents, grandparents, spouses, children and friends. 
The commencement ceremony also featured presentations from special guests including State Representative David K. Muradian, Jr. (R-Grafton), State Representative Kevin J. Kuros (R-Uxbridge), State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) and Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña. State Representative Joseph D. McKenna (R-Webster) was unable to attend the ceremony in person, but sent messages of congratulations to the graduates. 
Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick thanked the lawmakers for their contributions in support of the program, which has a ripple effect on health care and wellness throughout the Blackstone Valley.
“Tonight’s graduates have availed themselves of a valuable resource for the residents, hospitals, and healthcare providers of the Blackstone Valley,” Dr. Fitzpatrick said. “No matter where their passion leads our graduates, there is no doubt that countless individuals will receive the care and comfort they deserve thanks to the BVT Practical Nursing Class of 2017.”
The Class of 2017 is the third to graduate under the leadership of BVT Practical Nursing Coordinator, Joann L. Monks, MBA, MSc, RN-BC, RMA, who spoke to the students about their journey through the practical nursing program, reminding them to take pride in their accomplishments, but remain humble in their work. 
“As the nation moves towards redesigning health care, nurses will play a vital role in providing safe, competent and quality care in shifting and various health care settings. This is not an obstacle for our nurses, but a challenge and an opportunity,” Monks said. “As the nursing profession evolves, remember your roots as providing compassion, caring for your client, being an advocate and providing client education. Be a leader and a role model.”
The BVT Post-Secondary Practical Nursing Class of 2017 included the following dedicated individuals: 
Rachel Boisvert.
Samantha Drew (Faculty Recognition Award); Mary Flynn; Tracy Hourihan; Kristen King.
Katherine Daly.
Kathleen Fichtner.
Diana Flores (Faculty Recognition Award); Christine LaPierre; Cheryl Prokopis; Amy Tatreau-Smith.
Amanda Wetherell.
Kayla Weld.
April Ojerholm (Outstanding Academic Achievement Award).
Julia Seifert.
South Grafton
Kandy Chretien.
Amy White.
Demi Keefe.
Lauren Drummond (Faculty Recognition Award); Megan Villemaire (Faculty Recognition Award).
Michelle Sousa.
Meaghan Cleary; Krysten Kruger (Outstanding Academic Achievement Award).
Providence, RI
Ming Yan.
The BVT Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program was established in 2009 to provide adults in the Blackstone Valley the life-changing opportunity to pursue a career in healthcare. The program has the approval of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and provides 1090 hours of instruction, with a minimum of 945 hours of nursing courses, 540 of which are clinical practice.  
Applications are currently being accepted for classes starting August 2017. To learn more about the BVT Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program, please contact: 
Joann Monks, MBA, MSc, RN-BC, RMA
Practical Nursing Coordinator 
(508) 529-7758 x 3122