The College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) Burns Lake campus have eight nurses graduating from its Practical Nursing (PN) program this year.
Due to Covid, the graduation celebration that would’ve been hosted at the main campus in Prince George, was moved to a virtual celebration held on June 25. The Burns Lake campus however decided to do a small celebration for the occasion on June 23.
The campus invited the nurses to collect their graduation caps and goodies, had a photo-op with some balloons and pom-poms and even did a drive-through town parade. Corrine George, the regional principal of CNC’s Burns Lake campus congratulated the nurses and said that, “The community has just gained some incredible, amazing practical nurses.”
Christie Barnhart who is already working at The Pines, a long-term care facility said, “It was a long, long road but now it all seems like it barely passed. But I am relieved, I am happy to be working.”
Waverly Riis-Christensen, who is also already working in a hospital in Smithers expressed her relief and said, “I am feeling very happy, definitely worth it and just happy that we made it through.”
Deonne Wright who plans to work locally either in Vanderhoof, Smithers or Burns Lake also expressed her excitement over completing the program. “I am feeling very proud that we all made it and successfully passed the course; because we put a lot of hard work into it,” she said, a sentiment that was echoed by her fellow classmate Shannon Adams, who will also be working locally as she wants to stick to living in the North.
Linda Schmidt who was born and raised in Burns Lake plans to stick around the town as well. “It is great that we had the opportunity to do this in our own hometown. I plan to stick around and give back to the community that has given so much to me,” she said.
Of the eight graduating nurses, only five were able to attend this celebration however, the staff and the support staff at the CNC Burns Lake campus were all present to celebrate with them.
“We are absolutely thrilled for the practical nurse students… first practical nurse program ever in Burns Lake. I am just really am proud of these ladies and I wish them best for their future endeavors,” said George.
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