BC nursing celebrates 60-year anniversary

Robin Shin

Hannah Breeland, Reporter

In 1952, Bakersfield College had its very first graduating class for the Vocational  Nursing program.

On Nov. 7, BC celebrated the 60-year anniversary milestone in the Math and Science building with past and present graduates and students.

Dean of Nursing/Allied Health Cindy Collier was all smiles while eating the anniversary cake.

“This is the oldest program on campus and this is such a great way to recognize that,” she said. “Seeing past and present students here with the faculty is really nice.”

Collier explained that the VN program is one of the most popular programs on campus.

“We get three to four applicants for every one seat,” she said. “The program is impacted at the moment. It is a two-year wait list normally, and at the moment 60 to 70 people are on it. It’s a first-come first-serve basis so there isn’t any favoritism. The class size is 18 to 20 people.”

“This is just great tonight,” said program manager Lucas Rucks. “It gives us a chance to recognize all the educators. I found some old pictures and put together a slide show. I think people are going to like it. Allied Health provided the food, which I’m sure everyone appreciates.”

There was an old nurse uniform on display along with pictures from past graduating classes. Speaker Donna Bianco graduated from the VN program in 1978, became a registered nurse and is currently working in the emergency room at Mercy Hospital. Bianco said she had gotten off work and come straight over for the celebration.

“The VN program here at BC gave me the experience to get into the RN program,” Bianco said. “I’ve noticed that a few things have changed since my day, like the little white hat we had to wear is gone. It was so irritating because it was always falling off and would be so dirty. It is not a bad thing the white hat is gone.”

Bianco is also a faculty member at BC for the VN and RN program.

Former graduate Lydia Sturamor from the 1969 class attended the event as well.

“It’s hard to believe how long it has been,” she said. “After graduating, I went on to work at Kern General. I remember that our class had started out with 33 students, and in the end only 19 graduated.”

Current students were enjoying the celebration.

“We’re almost done and this whole time the instructors have been just great,” said Ann Slater. “After this I think I want to work at an Urgent Care. I like the fast pace of it.”

This year’s class started with 32 but 17 are left. The students said that instructor Stephanie Engler is “very to dear to their heart.”

“I just feel that without those great instructors, BC wouldn’t be as great as it is,” said Marisol Davila.

This year’s 2012 class will be graduating Dec. 7 in Forum West.