Tom P. Haney Technical Center Director of Nursing, Evelyn Simmons, RN, BSN, recently was notified that every one of the 31 graduates from the January 2008 class passed the National Certification Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses.
“It is not unusual for most of them to pass on the first try. Sometimes there is one or two that must retake the test,” Simmons said. “I am so excited for them. They come in to this program so green. They can’t even put on a blood pressure cuff. To see them grow, pass their boards and become nurses is what makes it all worthwhile, to know that you have been a part of their success. They always come back to see us. I always wanted to be a teacher or a nurse. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to do both. For me, that is awesome.”
Simmons also said that a nurse shortage is already straining the medical field and the prediction is that it will get worse. With the job market getting increasingly tighter, many more people are considering nursing since there are jobs available.
The number of men getting into nursing is increasing all the time. Supporting the medical community is critical in this community due to the high number of elderly retirees.
Nurses have many options for places to work. Hospitals, nursing homes, schools, doctor’s offices, clinics and even some industries have nurses on site. Nurses also work in law offices, insurance companies as advisors.
Another demand in the nursing field is for traveling nurses. Most traveling nurses have a high salary and their living expenses are paid.
Nursing students start at Haney with plans to continue their education in an RN program or specialty areas. Haney can accept 67 nursing students each year according to the rules set by Florida Board of Nursing. More than 200 apply each year to enter the program.
Admissions staff screens application packet to make sure they are complete. The next step is an interview with the all the department instructors to gauge interest, knowledge of the field, compassion for others and communication skills.
“Our program is about teaching skills, but it is also about giving people chances to improve their lives. But, we are very strict about personal responsibility. Students need to clearly understand that a person’s life hinges on their decisions,” Simmons concluded.
PHOTO: right - Evelyn Simmons, RN BSN, Director of Nursing,
Left - Sabrina Peffers, RN BSN instructor (drawing is of Florence Nightingale)