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Southbridge Clinical Injects a Dose of Reality into QCC Practical Nursing Grads

May, 2021
  • QCC LPN student Shanna Kay Reynolds (L) and Volunteer Bright Eric Ohne. QCC PN student Maura Bacon (R) administers a vaccine.
    QCC LPN student Shanna Kay Reynolds (L) and Volunteer Bright Eric Ohne. QCC PN student Maura Bacon (R) administers a vaccine.

Quinsigamond Community College’s 2021 graduates were front and center in a nationwide effort to vaccinate people against the COVID-19 virus. By the end of April 2021, 76 graduates in the Practical Nursing program had administered more than 6,000 of the over 38,000 vaccines given to people at the Southbridge Armory vaccination clinic site. Working alongside the students at the Southbridge site were QCC Professor of Nurse Education Margaret “Meg” Yoder and Faculty Member Christian Ilustre.

“The Practical Nursing Class of 2021 was an integral part of service to the community,” Professor Yoder said.

Healthcare workers were the first to be vaccinated in the U.S. and students in QCC's Practical Nursing program began the vaccination process in 2020, vaccinating frontline workers from Harrington Healthcare and Harrington Physician Services, before moving on to members of the community. The nursing students administered the vaccine, performed intake assessments, gave educational information, and observed vaccine recipients post vaccination.

“Our nursing students have made a massive impact on our community. Their dedication to assisting others in a time of such uncertainty shows their conviction and passion for helping others. This service before self inspires us all to do better and be better as we move forward,” said QCC President Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D. 

“These new graduates will go into the world with skill sets unlike any of their predecessors due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Dean of the School of Healthcare, Pat Schmohl.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the 4% average for all occupations.

To learn more about QCC’s program visit, QCC Practical Nursing.

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