WCC nursing graduates

Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing graduates received their nursing pins and participated in the traditional candle lighting ceremony at the Dothan Civic Center on May 8. Graduates take the Nurses’ Pledge before beginning their healthcare careers.

DOTHAN -- Wallace Community College-Dothan recently conferred credentials upon spring 2019 graduates of the associate degree and practical nursing programs. The graduates, who represent students from the Sparks Campus in Eufaula and the Wallace Campus in Dothan, will help fill employment gaps in the local healthcare workforce. Graduation this year also falls during National Nurses Week.

 “The coincidental occurrence of WCCD graduation ceremonies and National Nurses Week highlights the importance of our two nursing programs,” said Kathy Buntin, associate dean, health sciences. “These graduates have numerous opportunities for employment awaiting them in our local area, and we look forward to seeing them join others serving in their professions.”

Since the first graduating class in 1953, the practical nursing program has produced almost 4,100 graduates. The associate degree program has graduated over 4,450 nurses since the initial 1971 class. 

In addition to the 194 nursing graduates, 89 students have graduated this academic year (2018-2019) from the College’s Allied Health programs, including Emergency Medical Services, Medical Assisting, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, and Respiratory Therapist. Since the inaugural graduating class in 1953, health programs at Wallace Community College have combined to place over 14,545 healthcare graduates into the workforce of the Wiregrass area.

Local graduates of the associate degree nursing program include Blue Springs: Jacob Kendrick Williams.

Local graduates of the practical nursing program include Eufaula: Erica Jackson and Shakeema Robinson.

WCCD offers many paths and schedule opportunities for nurses to further their education. “The Associate Degree Nursing class this semester is a combination of Licensed Practical Nurses and students who are entering the nursing profession for the first time as Registered Nurses,” said Ms. Jackie Spivey, ADN division director and program director. The Practical Nursing program offers classes in the evenings and weekends to accommodate students’ family and work schedules.

The demand for skilled healthcare workers continues to grow. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a “faster than average” to “much faster than average” growth in each of WCCD’s allied health and nursing preparation areas for the years 2016-2026, including the projected need for approximately 438,000 new nurses by the year 2026.

 “Wallace Community College is excited to graduate another outstanding class of practical nurses and associate degree nurses who will make, no doubt, an immediate impact of the healthcare profession in the Wiregrass. We are so proud of these graduates and of their accomplishments,” said Dr. Linda C. Young, president, Wallace Community College.

Wallace continues to enroll large numbers of prospective allied health and nursing students each semester, and plans to add an additional program, surgical technology, in the upcoming fall semester 2019. More than 40 percent of the College’s total student enrollment is registered in health sciences or pre-health sciences courses. The nursing programs are approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

For additional information about Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) contact Michelle Blackmon at mblackmon@wallace.edu, or call 334-556-2262. For information about Practical Nursing (PN) contact Hannah Mixson at hmixson@wallace.edu, or call 334-556-2220. Application information for both programs and are available at www.wallace.edu. Application information is available at www.wallace.edu/healthscience_applications.

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