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Berks holds Practical Nursing Program Graduation

Penn State Berks will hold its second Practical Nursing Program graduation ceremony on Sunday, December 4, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. The class of 18 students will receive their Practical Nursing certificate during the ceremony. Donna Trinkas MSN, an instructor at The Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences, will be the keynote speaker.

The second nursing class is a diverse and multi-talented pool of individuals. Many have worked for number of years in elder care, some are making a complete career change, and others are just beginning their education. While their stories may be different, they all share one common denominator: caring about people.

Barbara J. Kinney, 49, of Morgantown, always dreamed of becoming a nurse, so when the packaging plant where she worked for 22 years closed its doors, she had the opportunity to pursue her dream. As a displaced worker, she qualified for tuition funding through Career Link. She explained that she chose the Practical Nursing Program at Penn State Berks because she could complete it in 18 months and because of the convenient hours.

“It was a challenging program,” commented Kinney. “I feel well prepared for a career in the healthcare industry.” Upon graduation, Kinney plans to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) for state licensure.

The college, in partnership with The Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences, launched the new part-time evening and weekend Practical Nursing Program in January 2009. The program is unique from other nursing programs in Berks County because it is the only one in which participants do not have to give up their day jobs: they attend class three evenings a week, as well as every other weekend, and achieve their dream of becoming a nurse in just 18 months.

The college's partnership with The Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in January 2008, provides tremendous opportunity to the students. Clinical work took place primarily at The Reading Hospital, with The Phoebe Village, an adult retirement and care facility in Wernersville, serving as a secondary clinical site.

The State Board of Nursing approved the Penn State Berks Practical Nursing Program as a satellite of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Practical Nursing Program.

The Practical Nurse Program is non-credit and it is priced competitively; program costs include instruction, books, uniforms, shoes, nursing supplies, and malpractice insurance. For more information about the Practical Nurse Program, contact Elaine Berish, Continuing Education Area Representative, at 610-396-6230 or via e-mail at emb1@psu.edu.

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