Group of 16 female graduates, seated and standing.

Graduates of Penn State Hazleton’s Practical Nursing Class of 2018 included, front row, from left, Meliza Tejeda, Donna Robbins, Maribel Rosa, Shawna Dennis, Nathalie Coo, Deja Janica, Kira Kichline and Ashley DeGroat. Second row, from left, Stacey Sartori, Allison Hummel, Kelli Davis, Shelby Schlauch, Darilis Mejia, Melissa Engle, Susan Butala and Tabitha Yost.

Image: Penn State

Practical nurses graduate from Penn State Hazleton

HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton Practical Nursing graduates marked the successful completion of the program during a ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium in the Physical Education Building. Sixteen students completed the requirements to earn a certificate in practical nursing and will be eligible to test for the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

The class began their studies in July 2017 for the 18-month program offered in the evening and on weekends in the classroom and laboratory in the Slusser/Bayzick Building. Students took classes at Penn State Hazleton and attended clinical studies at area partner facilities.

Chancellor Gary M. Lawler presided over the ceremony along with Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth J. Wright and Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Andrea C. Shook.

Guest speaker for the event was Lisa Shustack, director of the undergraduate nursing department at Misericordia University, where she teaches in the baccalaureate nursing program.

During the ceremony, graduates received their certificates and pins to signify successful completion of the program.

Graduates and their hometowns included Susan M. Butala, West Hazleton; Nathalie Y. Coo, Hazleton; Kelli L. Davi, Bloomsburg; Ashley J. DeGroat, Berwick; Shawna R. Dennis, Jim Thorpe; Melissa B. Engle, Drums; Allison L. Hummel, Bloomsburg; Deja M. Janica, Hazleton; Kira A. Kichline, Lehighton; Darilis Mejia, Hazleton; Donna L. Robbins, Moscow; Maribel Rosa, Hazleton; Stacey M. Sartori, Sheppton; Shelby M. Schlauch, Weatherly; Meliza Tejeda, Hazleton; and Tabitha A. Yost, Bloomsburg.

Several members of the graduating class also earned special recognition with an award. The awards and winners included:

  • Excellence in Clinical Practice, an award presented to the nursing student who best displays a high regard for clinical care and clinical aptitude. Laura Jones, instructor in practical nursing, presented this award to Tabitha A. Yost.
  • Award for Leadership and Professionalism, which recognizes outstanding leadership and professionalism during the nursing education process. Denise Kelly, instructor in practical nursing, presented this award to Kira A. Kichline.
  • Most Compassionate, an award presented to the student who displays exceptional emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy for others. Lori Reiner, instructor in practical nursing, presented this award to Maribel Rosa.
  • Community Service, which is presented to the student who displays the initiative to reach out to those in need within the community. Andrea McAloose, instructor in practical nursing, presented this award to Darilis Mejia.
  • Spirit of Nursing Award, which recognizes the student who shows excitement, motivation and enthusiasm toward the nursing profession. Candy Madera, instructor in practical nursing, presented this award to Meliza Tejeda.
  • Patricia D. Kelly, R.N. Academic Award in Practical Nursing, an award presented to the student earning the highest overall grade-point average. Joann Famalette, instructor in practical nursing, presented this award to Stacey M. Sartori.