Drake State and Huntsville Hospital Celebrate Inaugural LPN Launch Program Graduates
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (August 8, 2023) – Drake State Community and Technical College and Huntsville Hospital proudly announce the graduation of the first cohort of graduates from their groundbreaking Nursing LPN Launch program. This momentous occasion was marked by a special Pinning, Candle Lighting, and White Coat Ceremony honoring the accomplishments of 19 dedicated individuals who have completed the program and are scheduled to obtain their licenses as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
The Pinning, Candle Lighting, and White Coat Ceremony was held on Tuesday, August 8, at 10 am at Campus 805’s event center. This event not only celebrates the achievements of these trailblazing LPNs but also recognizes the collaborative efforts of Drake State and Huntsville Hospital in providing this unique educational opportunity.
The LPN Launch program, a joint initiative between Drake State and Huntsville Hospital, offers aspiring individuals the chance to become Licensed Practical Nurses and embark on an immediate career at Huntsville Hospital. Spanning over three semesters, this comprehensive program is taught by Drake State at Huntsville Hospital’s esteemed Cochran Training Center. In addition to receiving first-class nursing education, students were granted free tuition, books, and fees for their nursing classes, ensuring that financial constraints did not hinder their pursuit of excellence.
“Drake State is proud to collaborate with Huntsville Hospital in pioneering the LPN Launch program, which has proven to be a transformative model of educational excellence and workforce development,” said Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims. “This partnership represents a powerful alliance between academia and healthcare, addressing our state’s critical need for qualified nursing professionals. LPN Launch removes financial barriers and empowers these healthcare professionals to embark on a rewarding career without delay. As our inaugural graduates prepare to enter the workforce at Huntsville Hospital, we are confident that this program will serve as a shining example for other institutions across the state, demonstrating the impact that collaborative initiatives can have on healthcare education and, ultimately, on the well-being of our communities.”
The Pinning, Candle Lighting, and White Coat Ceremony symbolizes the transition of these graduates from their academic journey to the practical realm of healthcare. As they don their white coats, a visible representation of their commitment to patient care and professionalism, these LPNs will join the ranks of Huntsville Hospital, contributing to the community’s well-being and positively impacting countless patients’ lives.
“We are immensely proud of our first cohort of LPN Launch graduates,” said Director of Innovation and Program Success and Health Sciences Division Chair Dr. Alice Raymond. “Their dedication and hard work throughout this program have been truly inspiring. We are confident that these highly skilled LPNs will excel in their careers and continue to provide exceptional care to our community in the Huntsville Hospital service area.”
The LPN Launch program exemplifies the power of collaboration between academic institutions and healthcare organizations in addressing the growing demand for qualified healthcare professionals. By equipping students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience, Drake State and Huntsville Hospital are shaping the future of nursing and investing in the well-being of the local community.
“We are thrilled at the graduation of the first nurses from the LPN Launch program,” said Tracy Doughty, President and COO of Huntsville Hospital. “It is truly a win-win-win for the students, Drake State, and for Huntsville Hospital. When we announced this new program with Drake in March of last year, we knew that this effort could provide a pipeline of nurses for many years to come. With this graduation, the pipeline is now open; and our community and our patients will be the ultimate beneficiaries.”
The graduation ceremony was a meaningful event for all in attendance, featuring speeches from distinguished guests and faculty members, the presentation of certificates, and the pinning of LPNs. Attendees witnessed the culmination of countless hours of hard work and perseverance as these graduates embark on their professional nursing careers.
About Drake State Community & Technical College:
Established in 1961, Drake State Community and Technical College is a historically black community college in Huntsville, Alabama, home to the fast-growing, highly technical aerospace and defense industry, including the NASA Marshall Flight Center, US Army Redstone Arsenal, and Cummings Research Parks. Drake State offers flexible, affordable university-transfer 2-year and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized technical skills training for Huntsville/Madison County employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.
About Huntsville Hospital:
Huntsville Hospital is an 881-bed hospital that serves as the regional referral center for northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. Huntsville Hospital is a volunteer-governed, not-for-profit institution and the second-largest hospital in Alabama. In recent years, the hospital has expanded its services throughout the region with the development of Huntsville Hospital Health System, which includes hospitals in Huntsville, Madison, Athens, Decatur, Boaz, Guntersville, Moulton, Red Bay, Sheffield and Scottsboro, Alabama, as well as Fayetteville, Tenn. The Health System includes more than 2,500 patient beds and 17,000 employees.