more than 20 women in white nursing outfits posing by Nittany Lion shrine statue

Twenty-two students, pictured here with the Nittany Lion shrine, graduated from the Penn State Lehigh Valley Practical Nursing program on Dec. 20, 2019, in a ceremony held at the Lehigh Valley campus.

Image: Mark Schwartz

Practical nursing graduation held at Penn State Lehigh Valley

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Penn State Lehigh Valley Practical Nursing graduates marked the successful completion of the program during a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 20, at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus. Twenty-two 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 2018 for the 18-month program offered in the evening and on weekends in the classroom and laboratory at the Penn State Center at Overlook. Students took classes at Penn State Lehigh Valley and attended clinical studies at area partner facilities.

Chancellor Tina Q. Richardson presided over the ceremony along with Practical Nursing Program Director Heather L. Clark. Guest speaker for the event was Joan Timalonis, instructor at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Student reflections were offered by graduating senior Tiffany Ruch.

“Words cannot convey how special this is to me. We embarked on this journey as individuals and are leaving as a family,” Ruch said. “We had long days of clinical, working late at night, studying in the early morning and now we are standing in front of you as new versions of ourselves.”

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

Graduates and their hometowns include Grether E. Camilo-Hernandez, Allentown; Camena Tahera Juliana Cham, Easton; Sara Claridad Barchiesi, Bangor; Abigail Catherine Dennis, Emmaus; Jessica Lynn Durst, East Greenville; Brianna Christine Lee Ewell, Easton; Kimberly Grace Heverly, Riegelsville; Alexis Michaela Johnson, Nazareth; Jennifer A. Lawless, Bethlehem; Alyssa Marie Leon, Coplay; Ashley Aurora Morales, Bath; Jamie Mount, Northampton; Kimberly Christie Ramraj, Allentown; Kaalee Riddick, Allentown; Tiffany Ruch, Bangor; Tanya Marie Santly, Bethlehem; Marie C. Sedlock, Bethlehem; Felicia Shaner, Easton; Jaime Lee Sizemore, Bath; Courtney Nicole Sliker, Easton; Tania Y. Tapler, Center Valley; Elesandra Zayas, Bethlehem.

“Words cannot convey how special this is to me. We embarked on this journey as individuals and are leaving as a family. We had long days of clinical, working late at night, studying in the early morning and now we are standing in front of you as new versions of ourselves.”

— Tiffany Ruch, Penn State Lehigh Valley student, practical nursing

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

  • Chancellor’s Leadership Award – Jessica Durst

Awarded to a student who displayed integrity and maturity as they represented and influenced the class in a positive way. Durst demonstrated leadership qualities and made the classroom and clinical environment a better place for everyone.

  • Excellence in Clinical Practice – Alexis Johnson

Awarded to a student who demonstrated caring and compassion for patients, in addition to precision and attention to detail. Johnson practiced high ethical standards and displayed all the attributes that are valued in nursing.

  • Most Inspiring Student Award – Felicia Shaner

Awarded to a student who sets the examples of perseverance and determination and who inspires the people around them as they themselves grow and flourish. Shaner faced tough challenges and excelled despite incredible odds.

  • Most Compassionate Award – Elesandra Zayas

Awarded to a student who was noted for their compassion, empathy, respect and dignity, along with intelligent kindness, as they cared for their patients. Zayas set the perfect example of this as she went above and beyond.

Penn State Lehigh Valley is now accepting applications for its August 2020 practical nursing program. An information session for the practical nursing program will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27, at the Penn State Center @ Overlook Park, located at 445 Hanover Ave. in Allentown.

For more information, contact Heather Clark, director of the practical nursing program at hlc12@psu.edu or 610-841-0359. For more information on the program, TEAS testing dates and how to apply, visit the practical nursing program website.

Contacts: 

Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

Work Phone: 
610-285-5018