Christmas Comes Early for MCTC Nursing Students
Christmas came early this year for the registered nursing (RN) students at the Licking Valley Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC). What began as a normal day studying for their upcoming board exams turned into a surprise from a community organization known for showing up and helping those in need.
Shortly after the first case of COVID-19 in Kentucky was announced in Harrison County last March, friends Angela Gray and Janelle Delaney decided that they needed to do something to help their community, specifically Harrison Memorial Hospital where that first patient was being treated.
“I have an idea,” Delaney, recalls saying in a call to Gray after learning that the hospital was having trouble securing personal protective equipment for its personnel and patients.
Soon after, they formed the Harrison Mask Makers and set off with a goal to make 250 masks to help the hospital until it could secure masks from its normal suppliers.
The pair reached out to anyone they knew that might be able to help. “We knew we needed volunteers to sew the masks, but we also soon realized that we needed people to help gather supplies and a lot more,” says Gray. “We needed everything. Material, elastic, plastic bags…we were starting from scratch,” she added.
In just over six weeks, their original goal of 250 masks turned into over 5,000 masks for local healthcare providers, business and industry and of course many friends and family.
They also built an army of volunteers to help with the cause. “We had people sewing, delivering, and collecting supplies, says Delaney. “I was amazed at how many people came together in this time of need, even when some were hurting or in need themselves,” she says.
When the Cynthiana and surrounding community saw the work the group was doing, many also offered monetary donations to help the cause and purchase supplies to keep the operations going.
But after a couple of months, commercially made masks became more widely available. The group had filled a much-needed gap but could now re-focus to see where else they might be able to step in and help.
The mask makers also had approximately $4,000 left in funding from their donations and wanted to put it to good use. After speaking among the organization and taking a vote, they decided to donate enough money to help the next group of nurses preparing to graduate in December from the Licking Valley Campus of MCTC.
Each of the 19 students in the current graduating class would receive $200 to be used towards paying for their National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX).
The nursing program at the campus has built a reputation for excellence and was named the #1 Registered Nursing program in the state of Kentucky for 2020 by RegisteredNursing.org.
The pass rate of students taking the NCLEX is a primary factor in that ranking. The campus boasted a 96% pass rate this year adding to its nearly per pass rate for its RN program students since 2015.
"We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift from the Harrison Mask Makers," says Nursing Instructor Luanne Wilson. "These students have persevered through unprecedented times to complete their degree. Support like this from our community shows these new nurses how much they are appreciated and needed especially in times like these," she adds.
“The timing was perfect to help these future nurses, especially at the holidays,” says Delaney. “We hope this inspires them to pay it forward,” she concludes.
To learn more about starting a career in nursing visit Maysville.kctcs.edu