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BVT Awards Practical Nursing Certificates to 16 Graduates Class of 2020

Feb 24, 2020 10:10AM ● By Pamela Johnson

The BVT Post-Secondary Practical Nursing Class of 2020: (front L-R) Jennifer Gardner, Tracy Lucciarini, Cassandra Nadeau, Regina Awuku, Lisa Gaudet, Danielle Janovsky, Rochelle Rivera, and Bright Kwao Adjei; (back L-R) Erin Ekstrom, Virginia Murphy, Jessica Mendall, Kerri Smith, Maudistien Buggs, Joyce Anyizi, and Melanie MacLeod. Not Pictured: Franco Montecinos.

The Blackstone Valley Tech Practical Nursing Class of 2020 marked the successful completion of one and a half years spent balancing employment responsibilities with family commitments as well as over 1,090 hours of instruction in the post-secondary program with their commencement on Wednesday, January 22nd.

During the ceremony, held at BVT, 16 graduates, including Bellingham's Lisa M. Gaudet, beamed with pride. Dressed in the traditional all-white outfit of nurses, they walked the stage and received their nursing certificates and pins to celebratory applause from proud BVT staff, parents, grandparents, spouses, children, friends, and stakeholders.

“The pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming for graduate nurses in the nursing profession,” explained Practical Nursing Coordinator, Joann L. Monks, MBA, MSc, RN-BC, RMA in her welcoming remarks. “In August of 2018, this group of students came together with a common goal, to become nurses. Given the depth and rigor of this program, they made a pact to support each other as adult learners, with many priorities. We are so proud that they now graduate together, beyond prepared.”

Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick thanked our lawmakers for their contributions in support of the program in his greetings and addressed the class of 2020, saying, “You embody the talent, courage, and knowledge that has become the hallmark of the practical nursing population. Tonight’s graduates have availed themselves of a valuable resource for the residents, hospitals, and healthcare providers of the Blackstone Valley. I look forward to seeing you succeed.”

Rochelle Rivera, Class President, delivered the class address. She chose to speak about one word, in particular, empathy, which she said is best described not in words but the actions of nurses. “Empathy is a nurse who takes their profession seriously, double checks their work, and delivers safe, professional, and holistic care. This nurse views nursing not as a job or a task, but as a service to others to ensure that their patients have the best quality of life possible. In closing, thank you to the Practical Nursing faculty for teaching, developing, and guiding us into this kind of nursing – one where other people’s lives are better because of our choice to become nurses.”

Guest speaker, Charlene Gonynor, MSN, RN, BVT Practical Nursing Faculty, commended the graduates, as an adult learner and instructor, she spoke from a place of understanding the demands that nursing school brings. Then the Practical Nurse’s Pledge, led by Melanie MacLeod, Class Vice President, and recited during the Ceremony of Lights.

The following dedicated individuals in the Practical Nursing Class of 2020 completed the requirements to earn a certificate in practical nursing and will be eligible to test for the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN):

Virginia F. Murphy (Auburn); Lisa M. Gaudet (Bellingham); Tracy Noelle Lucciarini (Douglas); Cassandra Jane-Marie Nadeau (Grafton); Rochelle Ashley Rivera (Hudson); Joyce Anyizi, Melanie L. MacLeod, Jessica Marie Robar Mendall and Kerri A. Smith (Milford); Erin Rose Ekstrom (Millbury); Danielle Janovsky (Northbridge); Jennifer Lynne Gardner (Webster);
and Bright Kwao Adjei, Regina Awuku, Maudistien R. Buggs, and Franco Alberto Flores Montecinos (Worcester).

For more information about the Blackstone Valley Tech Practical Nursing program, visit

About Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT):
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton, and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, BVT creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of rigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school’s website is
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