AIKEN Co. (WJBF) – Making it to the finish line – with a goal of one day becoming nurse practitioners or patient care technicians.

“I’m excited and I’m nervous to start this new career path but I feel like I’m ready and I’m confident and  I think that Aiken Tech has prepared me for this day “ said Jessica Toole, Valedictorian, Aiken Tech Nursing.

The nursing students at Aiken Tech are being pinned for completing the colleges summer term nursing program.

Jessica Toole, a mother of three, says she started the program with the goal and mindset of becoming a nurse to help people – now she’s finishing as valedictorian.

“Definitely a lot of obstacles with the pandemic we’ve been able to navigate them in nursing school so I feel confident that I’ll be able to navigate them once I’m out in the career field just hoping for a change and hoping this will pass sooner than later ” said Toole.

Other nursing students are following her. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse ever since my first niece was born I’ve just had that passionate since then and I like to help people “ said Danielle Roberson, Nursing student, salutatorian.

The program had nine students to graduate—with the COVID-19 pandemic and recent nursing shortage – the urge  to get out and add to the healthcare field is high.

“Each year to know that one student have achieved their dreams and goals of becoming a nurse and patient care technician that is the ultimate reward for me to see that all of their hard work dedication and perseverance have paid off now they’re entering into the work force “ said Dr. Hannah Williams, Dean of Nursing, Aiken Technical College.