LaGuardia Community College Celebrates Graduates from its Top-Ranked Nursing Program

Two members of LaGuardia Nursing’s December 2022 Class, Purvikka Sasitharan, R.N. and Leslimarco Macapayad, R.N., celebrating their graduation.

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (December 20, 2023) — LaGuardia Community College/CUNY is celebrating 43 Registered Nursing (RN) graduates with an RN Pinning Ceremony scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. on December 20 in the Mainstage Theater.

The RN Pinning Ceremony dates to the Crusades in the 12th century and was further shaped in the 1860s when Queen Victoria awarded Red Cross of St. George to Florence Nightingale, known as the founder of modern nursing, for her service as a military nurse during the Crimean War. In 1916, the Pinning Ceremony was adopted as standard practice for nursing schools nationwide, to signify that a group of individuals have joined the sisterhood and brotherhood of nursing and are ready to serve their communities as frontline healthcare professionals.

Multiple independent sources have ranked LaGuardia Nursing as New York State’s top nursing program, among both two-year and four-year colleges.

“We are proud to graduate NYC’s newest frontline workers. Not only have these graduates demonstrated their dedication to nursing through hard work, but their skills are also needed now more than ever. The pandemic has had a profound impact on nursing staffing and showed how essential these frontline workers are. Nurses represent 80% of the health care industry’s workforce, and demand for nursing is at a peak,” said Kenneth Adams, president of LaGuardia Community College. “The critical need for frontline health care workers is why we launched the ‘3,000 Heroes’ initiative to expand our training of frontline healthcare professionals, ready to make a difference every day in someone’s life—no matter how big or small. With these newest graduates, we are well on our way to graduating 3,000 frontline workers by 2027.”

“The 43 students graduating today started their pre-clinical coursework during the pandemic when classes were taught remotely,” said Jazmine Freire, academic manager for LaGuardia’s Health Sciences Department. “When accepted into the clinical phase of the Nursing Program they had to adjust their learning style from remote to in-person. They’ve demonstrated remarkable adaptability and resilience.”

The Pinning Ceremony will be officiated by Phil Gimber, RN, chair of LaGuardia’s Health Sciences Department and Faith Armstrong, director of LaGuardia Nursing Programs.

Purvikka Sasitharan, R.N., a member of LaGuardia Nursing’s Fall 2022 class who works in Bellevue Hospital’s telemetry unit, will give the keynote speech.

A leadership award will be presented to Nursing Club President Kena Marisse Araneta by Sarah L. Marshall, DNP on behalf of the Nurses Association of the Counties of Long Island, NY (NACLI). Dr. Marshall is a patient and community educator, Independent Living Donor Advocate, and Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in Brooklyn.

In the next few months, the 43 graduates will be applying for their nursing licenses and taking the NCLEX-RN, the national licensing exam for registered nurses. Outcomes reported by the New York State Education Department show that LaGuardia Nursing students are 20–25% more likely to pass their national licensing exams on their first try than nursing students statewide, on average. According to the most recently available data, 93% of LaGuardia RN students passed the NCLEX-RN on their first try, compared to the statewide average of 73.7%. And 100% of LaGuardia LPN students passed the NCLEX-PN on their first try, while the statewide average was 74.4%.

“Our Nursing graduates do tremendously well on the job and report feeling extremely well-prepared to care for New Yorkers,” said Ms. Armstrong. “We hear great feedback from medical directors about our students, many of whom receive job offers from the hospitals and medical facilities where they do their clinical rotations while at LaGuardia.”

LaGuardia’s RN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Students who successfully complete 23 credit hours of common core courses and 43 credit hours of program core courses earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Registered Nursing. Students in the state-approved LPN program earn a certificate in Practical Nursing. LaGuardia’s LPN to RN Advanced Pathway enables LPN students to return to LaGuardia to pursue their RN.

Members of the Registered Nursing Class of December 2023:

Angulo, David Araneta, Kena Marisse
Avila, Marina Choedon, Kalsang
Cruz, Cinthia Doorga, Scott A.
Dotsang, Tenzin Y. Germano, Kyle R.
Giannotto, Laiza Gurung, Tsering
Huang, Alan Jacques, Brianna
Kilina, Elizaveta Lama, Dhundup
Lin, Larry Lin, Xiao Chai
Ma, Qingwei Morales, Melissa
Palden, Tenzin Palmo, Chimey
Palzom, Tenzin Smith, Emma C.
Sonam, Tenzing Tenzin Yangkyi, Fnu
Tsering Choedon, Fnu Tseyang, Tenzin
Tsogyal, Tashi Yang, Siyong

Members of the PN to RN Advanced Standing Pathway Class of December 2023:

Choekyi, Tenzin Chuki, Kinley
Colman, Jasmine Dolkar, Tsering
Fuller, Danielle Lee, Randolph
Lema, Graciela R. Li, Lan Hua
Limbu, Roma Rahman, Sharmin
Ramdial, Christopher Sherpa, Mingma
Tablada, Roseanne L. Yi, Romalyn Z.
Zaorski, Joanna

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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