MGCCC health profession students walk across the stage

Students walked across the stage this morning from MGCCC with degrees ranging from nursing to health care assistants.

Students sat patiently inside the Immersive Media Performing Arts Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Harrison County campus waiting to walk across the stage to receive their degrees.

With this being the first ever fall commencement ceremony, it made it even more special for students and staff. School of Nursing and Health Professions Associate Vice President Dr. Joan Hendrix said, “We had 80, 85, or so nursing and health professions. The health professions group with EMT, paramedics, and the health care assistance.”

For the past three years, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s registered nursing program has been ranked the best community college program in Mississippi. Dr. Hendrix tells News 25 the success of the program is because of the hard work the students put in. “They learned quite a bit in the labs, in the hospitals, with virtual learning opportunities.”

Nurses are needed more than ever, not only because of the ongoing pandemic, but also because nurses are aging and retiring and it is important that all of those positions are filled. “There was always a shortage in nursing and other major health professional programs.”

Nursing graduate Whitney Boyd says she decided to become a nurse at a young age after her younger brother was born with a hole in his lung. “When he came home, when I was ten years old, I helped care for him and that’s when my passion started growing for nursing.”

With twelve-hour lectures and clinical days, Boyd says it was a heavy load, but well worth it. “It’s beautiful to learn all this material and implement it into the actual workforce and the hospital setting and to be able to see the impact on the patient’s life and their family.”

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