Tri-Rivers Nursing Graduates take a selfie

Tri-Rivers graduates 74 Healthcare Professionals

Tri-Rivers Patiend Care Technician graduates pose for a photo

Megan Ditmars, Stephanie Kirk and Autumn Hamon pose before graduating from their Patient Care Technician program.

Seventy-four healthcare professionals graduated during Tri-Rivers 2017 Adult Education Healthcare Graduation held at the historic Palace Theatre in downtown Marion—35 from the School of Practical Nursing and 24 from the LPN to RN Diploma program and 15 from the Patient Care Technician program.

Dr. Emeline Kelly, DNP, MSN, ACNS-BC,RN, Director of Nursing, said the 2017 graduates are exceptional and she expects great things from them. She also thanked families and friends who made sacrifices and provided ongoing support to the graduates.

This year’s recipient of the highest honor for the Practical Nursing Program—The Margaret Helen Gast Award—went to Ryan Michael Irons. This award represents the highest level of achievement in the Practical Nursing. “Margaret Helen Gast was the Director of the School of Practical Nursing for a number of years. The recipient of this award is recognized for being able to establish therapeutic relationships, demonstrating academic excellence; and conducting themselves self in a manner fitting the role of a practical nurse,” said Dr. Kelly.

The recipient of the highest honor for LPN to RN students—the Judith Ryan Higel Award—was Emily Yvonne Lake. This award is named in honor of Dr. Judith Ryan Higel. “For seventeen years, Dr. Higel served as the Administrator of the nursing programs at Tri-Rivers where she also served as the Director of Adult Education for a number of those years. The Judith Ryan Higel award is given to a student who is exceptional academically as well as clinically, supportive of their classmates, and a true role model for other students,” said Kelly.


The Patient Care Technician Highest Level of Achievement , the Judy Louis Norris Award was presented to Courtney Blair. “For 22 years, Ms. Norris was the Director of Adult Education and developed a myriad of programs, including Patient Care Technician. This award is given to a student who is exceptional academically and clinically, supportive of their classmates, and a true role model for other students,” said Dr. Jasmine M. Rausch, DNP, RN, CENP, C-OB, C-EFM, Nursing Education Programs Manager.

Tri-Rivers Nursing graduates show off their decorated caps.

Tri-Rivers Nursing students Sarah Stark, Tiffany McGregor, Kelli Love show off their decorated graduation caps.

During the ceremony Tri-Rivers Chief Instructional Officer, Larry Hickman, commended the students on their dedication and hard work and challenged each of them to pass their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). He also reminded them of Tri-Rivers slogan: A School Where You are ALLOWED to, INSPIRED to and EXPECTED to be AMAZING.

Hickman talked about the quality of education at Tri-Rivers and the fact that Tri-Rivers School of Nursing was ranked number one in the State of Ohio by by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN pass rates. “That is amazing and indicative of the quality of Tri-Rivers Nursing program, staff and students.”

Dr. Kelly also attributes the high passage rates of Tri-Rivers nursing graduates to the staff working one on one with students and offering “unparalleled support for students during their training.”  Kelly explained that they look at each individual student and work hard to support their goals of becoming a healthcare professional. “Each student is different. We recognize those differences and provide the support that helps them succeed.”

One of the indicators of success, is having excellent attendance. This year three students received Perfect Attendance Awards. “We believe that attendance is the top priority when it comes to a student’s performance. The best trait a person could probably have in any company or organization is their dependability, and the main factor of being dependable is attendance,” said Dr. Kelly.

The following students received the perfect attendance awards: Ryan Michael Irons, Practical Nursing; Heidi Joy Ferriman, LPN to RN and Courtney Blair, Patient Care Technician.

Highest Academic Achievement Award recipients were : Sarah Elizabeth Stark, PN; Courtney Blair, PCT.

Outstanding Clinical Performance Award recipients: Jean Marie Monroe (PN Day); Heaather Marie Harris (PN Evening); Heidi Breanne Clark (LPN to RN Day); Cori Ann  Collins (LPN to RN Evening);Autumn Hamon and Destiny Toland (PCT).

Graduating with honors were Jessical Beal and Melonie Bumgarner, Patient Care Technician program.

LPN to RN Diploma graduates include: Linsey Bowen, Heidi Clark, Ajah Cocherl, Candace Collins, Cori Collins, Amanda Davis, Erin Dziak, Twilla Evans, Heidi Ferriman, Tiffany Hicks, Danielle Holt, Jason Hughes, Emily Lake, Holly Leverett, Sharon Lomax, Jewellene McConnell, Jennifer McCune, Caitlyn Patrick, Ruby Ramirez, Lindsey Shull, Savannah Smith, Lauryn Webb, Stephanie Weber and Emily Wilfer.

School of Practical Nursing graduate include: Hannah Adkins, Ciera Bills, Katelyn Bird, Kirsten Blanton, Rebecca Brown, Shelly Brown, Megan Burris, Tracy Crabtree, Crystal Evans, Heather Harris, Brittney Hearn, Johnetta Heckard, Jenna Huffine, Jessica Hutchinson, Ryan Irons, Kara Jordan, Sara Kelly, Amanda Kinsell, Bridgett Kitchen, Theresa Lange, Kelli Love, Michelle Markley, Alyssa Martin, Tiffany McGregor, Shaylah Monnette, Jean Monroe, Chelsea Moore, Kierstan Neagles, Lillian Reese, Samantha Showalter, Kristin Speakman, Sarah Stark, Tiffany Stauffer, Candace Turner and Makenzie Wright.

Patient Care Technician graduates include: Jessica Beal, Courtney Blair, Melonie Bumgarner, Megan Ditmars, Keegan Gullifer, Autumn Hamon, Stephanie Kirk, Sarah Lutz, Sarah Morris, Brooke Newsom, Jashantae Scott, Ashley Stone, Destiny Toland, Bridgett Vandyke and Addison Vansickle.

For more information on Tri-Rivers Nursing programs visit