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Special Pinning Ceremony for nurses to be held May 5 at 10 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA – May 1, 2017 – Since 1968, Community College of Philadelphia has graduated more than 3,500 nurses, sending them to work in hospitals, community centers, and to teach. In fact, the College’s Nursing program has nine alumnae on its faculty.
A new class – this one 65 students strong -- will move on, marking the milestone with a special Nurses Pinning Ceremony that will celebrate their achievement on Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in the Athletics Center, which is on 17th Street, just south of Spring Garden Street.
Diversity is one attribute that sets the class apart from other colleges and universities. The Nursing class of 2017– like others before it – is diverse in age, culture, economic background and gender. This deepens the quality of care patients in an international city like Philadelphia can receive.
“What I liked about the college is the diversity – young and old, single parents, families – just an array of different people wanting to be better than they are in their current situation,” said Jamie Israel, a 2017 Nursing graduate who currently works as a full-time paramedic.
Israel will continue her education as she pursues her goal of working as a hospice nurse, even as she will continue to hold down two paramedic jobs. She plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree through an online program at West Chester University, Drexel University or Ohio State University.
The healthcare landscape is evolving and Community College of Philadelphia is providing a pipeline of healthcare workers that is culturally rich, and trained to work with patients from all types of social, cultural and economic communities.
In a recent Nursing class, approximately 42 percent of students were white; 33 percent were African American; 9 percent were Asian and 6.5 percent were Hispanic. Of that class, 25 percent were males. “The diversity of this generation of new healthcare workers will not only bring different perspectives to healthcare, but will also bring more knowledge of cultural differences than those students that sat in the classroom a decade ago,” said Dr. Mary Anne Celenza, dean of the College’s Division of Math, Science and Health Careers.
Indeed, this class includes four students who entered College on public assistance through the KEYS (Keystone Education Yields Success) initiative, and will leave prepared to work in a profession where the entry-level salary is more than $50,000 a year.
Community College of Philadelphia has a longstanding commitment to teaching students to understand how cultures differ and how that affects patients' needs and quality care. All Nursing students are required to work in the surrounding neighborhood as part of the nationally known 19130 ZIP Code Project, a program funded by Susan Sherman, President and CEO of the Independence Foundation, that immerses students in tasks such as health education. The students receive valuable experience while learning how to foster relationships, communicate across language barriers and more.
The College recently received a one-year, $350,000 Workforce Diversity Grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to launch a program that will provide second-year Nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds an accelerated pathway to graduation. The primary objective is to increase the pipeline of diverse nurses who have earned bachelor’s degrees in Philadelphia.
Together with the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium and West Chester University, the program provides participants with mentoring, accelerated coursework, financial support and the opportunity to take as many as nine additional credits toward a bachelor’s degree.
Mohammad Ayaz, a 2017 Nursing graduate who is part of the HRSA grant said it has been a great experience. “I would say it’s all about the people here. They are so friendly and the staff is really great,” he said. “There is so much cultural diversity and the environment is a great place to learn.”
Dr. Barbara N. McLaughlin, head of the Department of Nursing, agreed that diversity enriches the learning environment. “The College draws together a wide range of ages and backgrounds and seeks to provide the programs and support they need to achieve their goals,” she said.
In addition, 128 students will graduate this spring from Community College of Philadelphia’s Allied Health Programs, which include: Clinical Laboratory Technology, Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Imaging, Health Care Studies, Health Services Management and Respiratory Care Technology.
About Community College of Philadelphia
Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.