MANCHESTER — Remember to care for the people in your care, 35 graduates of a nursing preparatory program for immigrants and refugees were told Tuesday during their program completion ceremony.
“Know in your heart that you're going into this profession because you care about people,” said Nick Vailas, the keynote speaker for the Bringing Refugees, Immigrants and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow nursing program's completion ceremony, held Tuesday night at Hillside Middle School.
“For me, there is no greater way of serving your fellow man,” said Vailas, the former commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services. “You've got to love what you do, especially in health care.”
The after-school nursing programs offer introductory and advanced classes for students in grades 8 through 10, as well as college preparatory classes for high school juniors and seniors.
It is tailored toward students from other countries as part of an effort to increase the number of bilingual, multicultural nurses in the work force, said Jodi Harper, program coordinator. “We really have students from all over the world,” Harper said.
“This program helped me a lot,” said Ratna Gurung, who said she moved to the United States from Nepal five years ago and in the fall will be a senior at Manchester High School West. “We had to believe in ourselves.”
“I learned a lot about this nursing field,” said Alka Gurung, who also attends Manchester High School West, and said she came to the United States from Nepal two years ago.