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Nursing Expo brings opportunities to graduating students

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
As UAHT Nursing Program Director Lori Arnette arrived on the scene two years ago, one of her ambitions was hosting a regional Nursing career day or expo, similar to those she saw in Little Rock years ago.
On Wednesday morning, Arnette’s vision became a reality, one she hopes will transform into an annual event as the 2019 UAHT Nursing Expo commenced at Hempstead Hall.
“Each year as we have our Nursing students ready to graduate we always have a number of employers and four-year universities contact us about recruiting our students, so I came up with this idea of having an expo event, where they could all come to campus and visit with our students about employment opportunities or advancing their educations when they graduate,” Arnette said.
Arnette said the LPN program, our Practical Nursing students, is a one-year program, and she said “We also offer a transitional program where students can go from LPN to RN with another year. Most of the time when you go through a one-year program, you graduate with an Associates Degree, so these four-year schools are offering to advance that with a Bachelors degree or Masters.”
Several familiar names had University recruiters in town Wednesday, including Southern Arkansas University (Magnolia), University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), University of Central Arkansas (Conway), Arkansas State University (Jonesboro), John Brown University (Siloam Springs), and Western Governors University (Austin, Texas).
Regionally known employers like the Baptist Hospital System, Pafford EMS, and Wadley Regional Medical Center also had booths.
In the Hempstead Hall lobby, there were also several vendors offering a variety of goods for sale as well as Easter-themed items.
Arnette said the Practical Nursing program had 36 students in Hope as well as another 13 in Texarkana. The Transitional Program currently has another 40 students, giving the overall program approximately 75 students.
Arnette said 36 students are scheduled to graduate in May with a second group set to graduate in December.
“We have two pinning ceremonies a year, May and December,” she said.
Arnette said Nursing students that receive pins are about to graduate and move on to take their state board examinations to become Nurses.
The May ceremony will be Thursday, May 2 at 6 p.m., also at Hempstead Hall.

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