Kristina Russell and Arianna Irish will be taking different career paths with the skills they learned from the Adult Practical Nursing Program in the Career & Technical Institute (CTI) at Dutchess BOCES.
Russell and Irish are the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the December 2022 graduating class in the Adult Practical Nursing Program. Both are planning to continue their studies and become registered nurses with Russell hoping to be a nursing teacher and Irish pursuing a career in postoperative care. 
“Nursing will always be there,” said Russell, 33, of Poughkeepsie. “People will always need help so applying yourself in that field will make you feel like you’re giving. When you give all your best to something, the reward you get is like no other.”
Irish, a 25-year-old Dover resident, comes from a family where her grandmother was a nurse, and her mother, sister, cousin and aunt are all nurses.
“The rewarding part is being able to help people whether it’s physically or emotionally,” she said. “You’re going to have hard days with people who are upset because they don’t feel good and it’s understandable, but really in the end, they’re going to show you a level of appreciation. That would be rewarding for me.”
The Adult Practical Nursing Program had 84 students, who come from all over the Hudson Valley and Connecticut, in the 10-month full time and 20-month part-time programs during the fall. Fourteen students graduated on Dec. 20.
Once they’ve completed the Adult Practical Nursing Program, students are prepared to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
“We have students who are very dedicated to healthcare,” said Joanne Williams, Coordinator of Health Occupations at Dutchess BOCES CTI.
“They know the reality of it. We’ve all gone through COVID and they’re still so resilient and adamant about joining the healthcare field that they continue to want to be nurses. We’re very proud of that. They’re an amazing group of young people.”

Williams added a job fair is offered at CTI in June and many students are offered jobs on the spot.
“We’re really offering a comprehensive program and we’re challenging our students so when they graduate, although they have minimum clinical hours, they’re really ready to fly,” she said.
Rosanne Marrone, a nursing teacher at CTI for 20 years, said the program is training nurses to fill a need in the community.
“They have a caring nature and that’s why they do it,” she said. “They enjoy caring for other people, and they’re compassionate and passionate about it.”





published; January 19, 2023