Practical Nursing Grads Called ‘Building Blocks’ of Health System

2012-07-13 | Bookmark and Share

CLARKSDALE - Declaring Friday the Thirteenth, the "luckiest day of their lives," the keynote speaker at Coahoma Community College’s Practical Nursing pinning ceremony, congratulated graduates as "the building blocks" of the health care system.

Dr. Roger Weiner, a Clarksdale cardiologist and Coahoma County Supervisor, said "You are a health care professional and an integral part of a team" that is dramatically different from past systems.

"You and your family must emphasize ‘professional,’ because this is not just a job," he said. "You have a responsibility to help others in your care 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

He urged graduates to "be bold" and consult colleagues and doctors if they question the care of their patients.

With more than a polite interest in the speaker’s remarks, all 12 graduates are recipients of Dr. Roger Weiner scholarships funded by the donation of his supervisor income to Coahoma’s nursing program.

"Dr. Weiner’s donation covered all their tuition and program expenses," said Beverly Overton, CCC vice president and practical nursing director.

Overton presented Weiner with a plaque of appreciation, and the nursing grads also honored him with a gift.

Overcome with emotion as recipient of the $300 Edie Furniss Scholarship, presented annually to a non-traditional graduate overcoming obstacles, was 37-year-old Rotonia Gates of Clarksdale.

A 1993 honor graduate of Coahoma Agricultural High School and Coahoma Community College in 1997, Gates, the mother of five, said she was laid off from her job as a casino blackjack dealer, became homeless and lived in her car when she entered nursing school.

Now she’s planning to pass the certification exam before, become a licensed practical nurse, and going to work.

The ceremony opened with an invocation by Renita Hoskins followed by remarks from Overton, Dr. Martha Catlette, vice president of health sciences, and Marquenetta Madden, class president.