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Graduation propels 24 nurses into workforce

WELLSBORO — Twenty-four students recently graduated from Penn College at Wellsboro’s practical nursing program.

The ceremony was held in the Deane Center for the Performing Arts; graduates processed in the Coolidge Theatre, then received family and friends outside of the facility. The evening marked commencement for two full-time cohorts: Wellsboro and Coudersport.

Both cohorts began their instruction at the Penn College at Wellsboro facility, then the Coudersport group had the majority of its instruction at the Potter County Education Council, using Penn College at Wellsboro’s UPMC Susquehanna Nursing Lab to refine skills before being released to practice them during clinical rotations.

It was the 37th class to graduate from Penn College’s Wellsboro campus, providing 503 practical nursing students to the Northern Tier since 1983. Presiding were Jason Zielewicz, director of workforce development at the Wellsboro campus; Lauren M. Scheetz, coordinator of practical nursing; and George Ann A. Foreman, instructional specialist for practical nursing.

Class members and their hometowns are:

Jodi L. Barkley, of Elkland; Alison Terese Benna, of Wellsboro; Hannah Marie Birkelund, of Wellsboro; Zian Autumn Brijea Burrous, of Wellsboro; Marissa Ashley Campbell, of Wellsboro; Kalie Kathryn Cobb, of Coudersport; Brooklynne E. Cowburn, of Genesee; Tiffany E. Cunningham, of Coudersport; Caitlyn Nicole Freelove, of Shinglehouse; Gabrielle C. Gordon, of Port Allegany; Rebecca Lynn Harmon, of Coudersport; Larae Ceora Hartman, of Roulette.

Kellie J. Hinchey, of Wellsboro; Samantha Rose Laubenstein, of Waterville; Jessica Mangel, of Smethport; Channelle B. Mayer, of Wellsboro; Lalu Narayan, of Coudersport; Courtney L. Redmond, Port Allegany; Mariah Lynn Remacle, of Roaring Branch; Lee Ann Reynolds, of Williamsport; Deanna Isabel Rodriguez, of Elkland; Amber E. Soroko, of Shinglehouse; Hannah Strawderman, of Coudersport; and Taylor Young, of Wellsboro.

The students selected Natalie O. DeLeonardis, retired coordinator, now a part-time instructor for the program, as guest speaker for the ceremony. Student speakers were Rodriguez and Strawderman. Scheetz presented awards to Birkelund for academic achievement and to Benna and Rodriguez for perfect attendance.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses and, due to high demand, may be employed in health care facilities throughout the region. The program is fully approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

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