By Steve Koehler
Jennifer Myers flashed a smile as she walked across the stage of the Gillioz Theater Wednesday to receive her registered nurse’s pin from Ozarks Technical Community College.
The Phillipsburg resident was proud to be one of 24 members of the College’s first Associate of Science in Nursing class to receive RN status and excited about her future.
“It means the opportunity to get a better job. I wanted to be an RN and that’s why I came back to the program,” she said.
Myers said the OTC program was more affordable and blended better with her schedule.
“It was easier for me because I had an opportunity to get a part-time job and the faculty was very easy to work with,” she said.
The ASN program is designed as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN) program that permits the qualifying LPN to complete the RN nursing courses in 36 weeks.
The class received their pins in front of a crowd of more than 200 family and friends.
Dr. Hal Higdon, president of OTC, said it was a historic moment for OTC and the graduates.
“Tonight, we took 24 people and doubled their earning potential from what it was yesterday. Think of what that means to a family. It will change the standard of living for their family,” Higdon said.
“For the life of the college this is a major step that we now have an RN program. It’s a small program now but it’s going to grow and as it grows, it can only help the community.”
Sherry Taylor, the program’s director, said she was excited to see the first class graduate.
“I’m very proud of them. They are an exceptional group of students,” she said.
Tabitha Caye Burton, one of the graduates who spoke at the service, said: “The journey has been an experience we will never forget.”Taylor said that the class size will expand to 30 in the fall because of the high demand for the classes. She said the program is helping fill a need for skilled nurses in the region.
“We have a good, strong allied healthcare program. This is helping with the nursing shortage,” she said.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Publications
Phone: (417) 447-2666