School of Nursing Graduates at Mississippi College Anticipate Healthy Job Growth

> School of Nursing Graduates at Mississippi College Anticipate Healthy Job Growth
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> Impacted by the death of her grandmother due to breast cancer in 2006, Courtney Wilson decided she wanted to become a nurse.
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> Courtney’s dream took a big step closer to reality when the Millington, Tennessee resident joined the Class of 2014 at Mississippi College’s School of Nursing commencement Friday.
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> The School of Nursing at the Christian university in Clinton, she said, was a wonderful place to receive an education.
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> “It’s my home away from home,” Courtney said as family members and friends gathered at Swor Auditorium for the December 19 commencement for 36 new MC nursing graduates.
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> Soon, Wilson will get the opportunity to join a profession that’s seeing much growth ahead as many of America’s Baby Boomers reach retirement age. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that USA nurses earn an average of $64,241 annually. Pay scales for nurses average $57,630 in Mississippi, $72,790 in New York and as much as $85,080 in California.
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> But it’s really not the money that attracted new nursing grads like Sandra Ostrander of Brandon. “I want to help people,” she says. With her MC diploma in hand, Sandra will head to work in orthopedics at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson in early 2015.
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> Another new Mississippi College nursing graduate, Micha Ross, 21, of Vicksburg is beginning her career on the cardiac floor at St. Dominic Hospital in the capital city in January.
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> Nursing seemed like the right fit for her. “I have a lot of family members who have been sick,” Micha said. She often would help them with their medications to battle one illness after another.
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> Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College was a good fit as well. “It’s really Christian-oriented and incorporates Christian caring with what they are here doing,” in the classroom, Ross said.
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> Several of the nursing graduates said they entered the healthcare profession after much thought and prayer.
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> “God just called me into nursing, so I followed,” said new graduate Kathleen Drake, 23, of Tampa, Florida. Nearby, family and friends shot hundreds of pictures of the Class of 2014.
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> Daniel Pitner, 22, of Booneville stood out as one of the few male nursing graduates at Friday’s ceremonies. After a little over four years at Mississippi College, the Cum Laude graduate is delighted he chose the School of Nursing. “Most teachers really integrate their faith with their profession.”
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> The new crop of MC nursing graduates come from six states: Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee. Melissa Renee Morgan, Brianna Pendergrass, Kristen Staten and Susanna Young didn’t travel far to get a top-notch education. They are all residents of MC’s hometown in Clinton.
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> “I like the Christian atmosphere and feel that everyone cares about you,” says Young, a 2006 Clinton High graduate.
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> Two other Mississippi College commencement ceremonies were booked Friday on the Clinton campus. Undergraduate ceremonies are set for Friday afternoon, with the Graduate School commencement at 7 p.m. Friday evening. Both events are at the A.E. Wood Coliseum.
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> Photo: Mississippi College School of Nursing professor Renee Everett of Clinton joins new nursing graduate Kathleen Drake, 23, of Tampa, Florida following the December 19 commencement.
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