Bucks graduates 35 practical nurses to ease healthcare shortage

Students who excelled in a rigorous, full-time program are poised to begin well-paying jobs as licensed practical nurses upon completion of state exams

Bucks County Community College’s practical nursing class of 2019 listens to speakers during the June 28 graduation ceremony in the gymnasium at the college’s Newtown Campus. Many of the 35 graduates, poised to become licensed practical nurses upon completion of state exams, have jobs lined up in the high-demand skilled nursing field. Source: Bucks County Community College

Bucks County Community College recently held a ceremony at the Newtown Campus to celebrate 35 graduate practical nurses. The GPNs completed a rigorous year-long, full-time program and are poised to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) upon completion of state licensing exams.

Michelle Rue Camp, director of Bucks County Community College’s top-ranked practical nursing program, congratulates Sierra Thomas, of Levittown, at a June 28 ceremony. Thomas was among 35 graduates who are poised to become licensed practical nurses upon completion of state exams to help alleviate the skilled nursing shortage. Source: Bucks County Community College

Graduates included Chima Ijezie, Daniel Mickson, Joanna Sharpe and Winnie Chung, of Bensalem; Sierra Thomas, of Levittown; and Anna Muncy, of Southampton. Graduates hailed from seven countries including the United States, representing diversity in the healthcare industry. Other countries of origin were Angola, Ghana, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria and Sweden.

Joanna Sharpe, of Bensalem, Noel Han, of Philadelphia, and Winnie Chung, of Bensalem, share a congratulatory embrace at their June 28 graduation ceremony from Bucks County Community College’s top-ranked practical nursing program. They were among 35 graduates of the full-time, year-long program and will soon enter the workforce as licensed practical nurses. Source: Bucks County Community College

Graduates also spanned a generation, ranging in age from early 20s to mid-50s, reflecting a trend of middle-aged career-changers turning to the high-demand field. Many graduates already have jobs lined up at local healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers and home healthcare agencies.

Chima Ijezie, of Bensalem, Emanuel Juarez-Corona, of Vineland, New Jersey, and Daniel Mickson, of Bensalem, show the oil lamp replicas – the symbol of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing – that they carried at their June 28 graduation ceremony from Bucks County Community College’s top-ranked practical nursing program. Source: Bucks County Community College

Meanwhile, NursingProcess.org, a nonprofit website for healthcare education information, recently ranked Bucks’ practical nursing program eighth out of all 57 programs approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. Since beginning the program in 2002, Bucks has graduated more than 650 practical nursing students.

Several graduates of Bucks County Community College’s top-ranked practical nursing program gathered to thank one of their instructors just before their June 28 graduation ceremony at the Newtown Campus. They are (from left) Sierra Thomas, of Levittown, Anna Muncy, of Southampton, Winnie Chung, of Bensalem, instructor Elizabeth Franco, Joanna Sharpe, of Bensalem, and Noel Han, of Philadelphia. Source: Bucks County Community College

To learn more, visit bucks.edu/healthcare/pn