Oakton recognizes 26 nursing graduates at pinning ceremony

  • Kristen Westphal of Evanston participates in Oakton's drive-up nursing graduation pinning ceremony on Dec. 17.

    Kristen Westphal of Evanston participates in Oakton's drive-up nursing graduation pinning ceremony on Dec. 17. Courtesy of Oakton Community College

Submitted by Oakton Community College
Posted1/5/2021 11:45 AM

Twenty-six students completed Oakton Community College's Nursing Program this fall and are now on their way to beginning rewarding careers in the health care industry. Oakton recognized the fall 2020 nursing graduates at a drive-up pinning ceremony Thursday, Dec. 17, at the Des Plaines campus. Graduates received their pins and celebrated their success with honks and waves from faculty, family and friends.

"Congratulations to the Class of 2020," said Margaret Gas, Nursing chair. "This has been a very challenging time for our students. They have been flexible and we are so proud of them. These inspiring graduates are entering the field when they're needed most. We know they'll make an immediate impact. We wish our nursing graduates all the best in their future endeavors."


The complete list of graduates includes: Haileyesus Adeye, Evanston; Malwina Bogusz, Niles; Carmen Cioc, Morton Grove; Kyla Dwight Estrera, Skokie; Anthony Felix, Des Plaines; Harry Gegantentio, Skokie; Miriam Kolom, Lincolnwood; Gerianne Lawrin, Park Ridge; Hyunwoo Lee, Wilmette; Kevin Luc, Skokie; Angel Mary, Des Plaines; Jessica Mette, Des Plaines; Marie Mohiuddin, Skokie; Alexandra Morris, Skokie; Michael Nguyen, Niles; Francoi Odicho, Niles; Jacqueline Ogawa, Evanston; Rosanna Payomo, Skokie; Erick Picache, Des Plaines; Jackleen Shumeil, Niles; Megan Smith, Des Plaines; Diana Stanila, Skokie; Susanna Wagner, Skokie; Kristen Westphal, Evanston; Jia Wu, Skokie; and Silvia Zouain, Evanston.

Ogawa earned distinction as the Keeper of the Light Award, which recognizes the Oakton nursing candidate who has maintained the highest grade-point average throughout the nursing curriculum. She graduated with a class high 3.79 GPA.

Also, Ogawa and Mary graduated with high honors, earning a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99 in their collegiate studies. Felix, Kolom, Mette, Stanila, Wagner, Wu and Zouain were recognized for graduating with honors, receiving a GPA between 3.50 and 3.74.

Since 1984, more than 2,400 students have received an Associate of Applied Science-Nursing credential from Oakton. Instructional classes and labs feature a state-of-the-art nursing simulation hospital and nursing classrooms. Students enrich their learning through the clinical experiences offered in various health care settings throughout the community.

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Over the last five years, Oakton has averaged a first-time pass rate of more than 92% on the NCLEX, the national licensure exam for nurses. In 2019, that passing rate was 95%.

Nurses are in high demand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow faster than average through 2026, with a median salary of more than $68,000 per year.

Oakton's nursing program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Nursing is a limited enrollment program, and applications for fall 2021 are being accepted through Feb. 28, 2021.

Admission requirements are posted at www.oakton.edu/academics/academic_departments/nur/admission_requirements/.

For more information, contact Gas at mgas@oakton.edu.

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