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Nursing grads get a special surprise at home

nursinggrads

Graduates of Southeast Community College’s Licensed Practical Nursing program got a surprise this week as faculty members drove to their homes with gifts and congratulations for their recent accomplishments.

“How unbelievably lucky I am to be part of this class and to have had such amazing teachers,” said Kristine Sundquist, one of the surprised graduates. “Thank you so much, you are the best!”

Program Director Ashley Fritz said she and her staff wanted to show how proud they were of their students for overcoming so many obstacles during the online learning phase. The faculty members made a map and visited all the houses within five hours. They drove in separate cars and made contactless deliveries while they waited in the driveways. Reactions ranged from shock to joy to appreciation.

“We wanted to do something special for our students,” Fritz said. “They are about to embark on their careers during a special time of need for our community. It was important for us to show our support and appreciation. We are very proud of them!”

“As faculty, we wanted the students to know we appreciate them, believe in them and wish them the best,” said Diane Anderson, nursing faculty member.

“I wanted to see the students again, I missed them!” said Amy Hensley, another faculty member. “I knew it would take some coordination and a full day of driving, but the reward was worth the investment.”

Hensley and Fritz said the switch to online learning posed different challenges for the students and faculty members since everyone had unique challenges at home. They were able to offer Zoom meeting and exams outside of normal hours to accommodate the students. Faculty wanted to show the students how proud they were during this challenging time.

“The faculty are so proud of our students for stepping up and doing their best knowing their community needed them,” Fritz said. “When it would get difficult, we would remind ourselves the impact we will have on the community by getting our students prepared to provide care to people in need.”

“None of this has been easy, so many people have been affected by Covid-19 either personally or someone they know,” added Anderson. “As an instructor and most importantly a nurse, we have to remain calm to provide the care that is needed, even if it is virtually.”

Fritz said a virtual pinning ceremony also was held, which is symbolic of welcoming new nurses into the nursing profession.  

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Andrea Gallagher
Marketing Specialist
402-323-3395
agallagher@southeast.edu