Bon Secours graduates new class of nurses

Three years, 124 credits and more than 800 hours of hands-on practice later, 26 men and women joined the profession of Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton in a ceremony May 16 at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Not only had these eager graduates earned their places in the field of nursing, but they also earned the first bachelor's degrees granted by the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. In 2008, the faculty of the former Bon Secours Memorial School of Nursing voted to switch to a degree-granting program, Provost Melanie Green said, and two years later, the 49-year-old institution changed its name and accepted its first Bachelor of Science in nursing class.

“It's past time for nursing as a profession to agree that there should be one educational pathway to become a nurse,” she said of the rationale for the switch. The hardest part of the transition, Green said, was ensuring that the school's alumni did not feel that their education had been devalued. “We know we gave a great education,” she said.

Applicants to this program had to meet a minimum grade point average and pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills, or TEAS. But Green said that the most important trait of a good nurse could not be studied.

“Compassion is something clearly you cannot make a person have,” she said. The college instead focuses on giving compassionate people the critical thinking skills to succeed as a nurse, she said, through classes and clinical practice. “It's quite rigorous,” Green said of the program's workload.

More than half of the 26 graduates had previously earned degrees, and 11 had nurses in their families. Narges Sayar, however, is the first person in her family ever to earn a degree. She came to America at age five as a refugee from Afghanistan. With the encouragement of her parents, she pursued an education, an opportunity largely unavailable to women in her homeland.

“They've always been pushing me to finish school,” Sayar said, “so I owe a lot of what I've done to my parents.”

Sayar said she was drawn to nursing for its emphasis on hands-on caring, and to Bon Secours Memorial College for its values and beliefs. She is thrilled that soon she’ll be working on the orthopedic unit at St. Mary's Hospital.
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Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications through Oct. 27


The Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next volunteer Master Gardener training program, which provides instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Applications for the 2018 training program will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 27. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 16 through March 22. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to host Oct. 30 job fair


Henrico Schools will host a job fair Oct. 30.

The event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fairfield branch library, is designed to attract potential full-time and substitute registered nurses, instructional assistants, bus drivers and school nutrition workers. > Read more.

Henrico Police to participate in ‘Tip a Cop’ Oct. 21


Henrico County Police Division and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police are participating in “Tip-A-Cop” to Support the Special Olympics Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. that day at Red Robin, 11784 West Broad Street, members of the two agencies will be working for tips as a donation to the Special Olympics. > Read more.

Participants sought for ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’


The Richmond Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, at Markel Plaza in Innsbrook, and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Richmond is seeking participants.

The event, one of three walks the association will hold in its service area this year (the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck walk was held Oct. 7 and the Fredericksburg walk Oct. 14) raises money to help the association fight the disease, which affects more than 26,000 people in the metro Richmond region. > Read more.

Fairfield meeting Oct. 25 to focus on cybersecurity


Henrico County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, Oct. 25 to discuss cybersecurity.

Thornton also has invited candidates who will be seeking election to local offices on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to introduce themselves. > Read more.

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The Weinstein JCC will screen the documentary “Denial” at 3 p.m. When professor Deborah E. Lipstadt includes World War II historian David Irving in a book about Holocaust deniers, Irving accuses her of libel and sparks a legal battle for historical truth. With the burden of proof placed on the accused, Lipstadt and her legal team fight to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. Based on the book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.” A talk-back panel will follow. Cost is $6 for JCC members and $10 for nonmembers. For details, visit http://www.weinsteinjcc.org. Full text

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