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Thirty years ago East Central College graduated the first class from the Associate Degree Nursing program.  To mark that anniversary, the college is inviting the graduates from every nursing class to the main campus for a celebration on Thursday evening, September 27.


Robyn Walter, chair of ECC’s nursing and allied health division and administrative director of the nursing program, noted that almost 800 people have graduated from the college’s nursing programs over the past three decades.  “We know that many of our graduates have busy schedules so we hope they will be able to join us anytime between 5 and 8 p.m. on September 27 to reconnect with former classmates and instructors, tour our state-of-the art nursing facility in the Health and Science Building, and enjoy some refreshments.”


Nancy Mitchell, a 1996 graduate of the program and current nursing faculty member, will give a brief presentation at 6 p.m. on connecting the past with the future of nursing. 


“We have graduates working in nearby communities as well as across the country.  They can be found in clinics, military service, hospitals, long-term care facilities, health departments, schools, home care and nursing informatics," Walter said.  "For many of our graduates ECC provided the foundation for their career in the nursing field.  Many have gone on to earn undergraduate and master’s degrees in nursing and now work as nurse practitioners, administrators and nursing educators."


East Central College offers two programs leading to an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing. The main campus in Union, as well as ECC’s Rolla site, offers a complete pre-licensure program (generic) for those interested in becoming a registered nurse. A LPN to RN Bridge program is also available for LPNs interested in becoming registered nurses.


Upon completion of either program, graduates are eligible to apply to write the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure as a registered nurse. Both nursing education sites are fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. The nursing program has clinical labs which utilize technology and high-fidelity human patient simulators. The program utilizes some distance learning technology to promote access and flexibility.


The program has several articulation agreements that promote a seamless progression to the baccalaureate degree in nursing.


Though reservations are not required, Walter encourages the nursing graduates and those who have been involved with the program in the past to contact the college so planners will have an idea on the number of people attending. 


Individuals may call 636-584-6616, email: or respond to the invitation on the East Central College Alumni Association Facebook page.  Walter also hopes that graduates who cannot attend will contact the department with information about their career path since graduation which can be shared with classmates at the September 27 celebration.

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