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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McShin Academy expanding to St. Joseph’s Villa


Two Lakeside-area nonprofits are partnering to create what is believed to be the first recovery high school in Virginia.

The McShin Academy will be a joint effort of the McShin Foundation (a recovery community organization based at Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church in Lakeside) and St. Joseph's Villa (a 183-year-old nonprofit on Brook Road that provides a variety of services for children with special needs). > Read more.

Reynolds CC dedicates student center


Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center, named for longtime supporters of the college who have made numerous investments in it.

Jerry Owen served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988, and he and his wife support the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps students earn a high school equivalency and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. > Read more.

Capital One sponsors ‘Coders Experience’


Capital One hosted its “Coders Experience” event in Richmond and a number of other state locations Oct. 14. The events attracted hundreds of middle school girls, who learned how to create their own mobile apps, hone problem-solving skills and gain software development knowledge. A second day of Coders Experience events will take place Oct. 21. More than 500 Capital One volunteers are participating in the 10 events. > Read more.

Hermitage band member named All-American


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance Selection Tour will visit Hermitage H.S. Oct. 19 to recognize Truman Chancy as a 2018 U.S. Army All-American. Hermitage High School will honor Chancy before his classmates, bandmates, family and friends at the high school’s band room during band practice, and he will be presented with his honorary All-American Marching Band jacket. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week: Oct. 16, 2017


This week, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is asking for the public to assist the Richmond Police Department in the identification of wayward artists that were using buildings as their canvas.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, four people were recorded on security cameras vandalizing multiple properties in the area of the 2500 blocks of West Main Street and Floyd Avenue. The suspects (pictured) were walking north on Robinson Street and spray painting the properties as they meandered along. > Read more.

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October 2017
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The Shady Grove Coffeehouse at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, 11105 Cauthorne Rd. in Glen Allen, continues its 17th season with The Company Store Band at 8 p.m. The foursome combines fiddle melodies from Virginia’s Appalachians, tight harmonies from Kentucky’s bluegrass and moving spirituals from the Carolina hills. Featuring Peg Andrae on guitar, Kate Conn on banjo, Don Golladay on bass and Paul Muller on fiddle. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door; teens are admitted at half price and children age 12 and under are free. Net proceeds benefit UUCC. For details, call 323-4288 or visit http://www.shadygrovecoffeehouse.com. Full text

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