(Bradenton, FL—August 9, 2017) Manatee Technical College graduated its first class of Executive Practical Nurses on August 8. Grads Amanda Graves and Kendra Mingleton gave a unique joint address.
After exclaiming, “We did it!” Mingleton shared some of the “trials and tribulations” endured by some of the class, including “births, injuries, accidents, and deaths.” The depth of those struggles combined with the joy of having made it through the program and the closeness they developed in the process was evident during the ceremony.
Over the course of almost two years—the class met on Fridays and every other weekend for 22 months—a quarter of the class dealt with personal struggles and family tragedies. One student had emergency surgery, another almost lost her son in a car accident, and another lost her father and her husband had cancer.
Graduates were Chelsea Nichole Barrett, Jamie Lynn Benefito, Cynthia L. Cerna, Monica Elizabeth Chavez, Ana Luisa Garcia Aguilar, Amanda Nicole Graves, Susana Martinez, Lisa Jane McLeod, Kelsey Eileen Midyett, Kendra Channel Mingleton, Macon Nicole Ritter, and Kathy Lynn Sandmoen.
Most of the students were working full-time jobs in healthcare. The executive schedule allowed them to attend school while continuing to work four ten-hour days per week.
Grad Lisa McLeod is the lead custodian at Myakka Elementary. She plans to pursue part-time employment as a LPN until she retires from the School District; then she plans to do nursing full-time.
When she was hospitalized four years ago with cancer was when McLeod decided to pursue nursing as a career. As she was lovingly surrounded and supported by her large family, the attending nurse commented on how wonderful it was, followed by, “There are people who don’t have anyone.” That was the moment McLeod knew she wanted to be a nurse. She said, “I’m going to give back the way they [the nurses who cared for her] gave to me.”
MTC nursing education programs are approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. Once the PN students pass the required national exam (the NCLEX), they will be Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). They are eligible to take the exam six weeks after they graduate from the PN program. About half the class plans to continue to an RN program.