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Huntsville Hospital, Drake State LPN Launch Program takes off

HUNTSVILLE — The LPN Launch Program has officially lifted off.

The program, a partnership between Huntsville Hospital and Drake State Community and Technical College, provides financial assistance to students to become licensed practical nurses.

Announced in March, the first class will have 19 students begin their training this week.  Upon graduation from the three-semester program, participants will have a job waiting for them at Huntsville Hospital.

Huntsville Hospital and Drake State LPN Launch program ribbon cutting (Public Resource)

“We are excited to begin this program with Drake,” said Huntsville Hospital President and COO Tracy Doughty. “Our first group of 19 students is energetic and eager to learn and we couldn’t be more proud to support them in their nursing journey. We hope to have 25 more students join in the spring.

“This partnership is a win-win for someone looking for a career, and it brings us one step closer to making sure that our health care facilities are staffed with well-trained clinicians.”

Student Kerrecca Myhand, who is in the inaugural class, said this opportunity is life changing.

“I’m very excited I’ve cried a couple times,” she said. “My daughter and husband are so proud of me.

“I am so grateful to have this opportunity.”

The nursing students receive financial assistance from Huntsville Hospital for up to $15,000 for tuition, fees, books and other expenses. In exchange, they have committed to work for three years as an LPN at Huntsville Hospital.

“We are excited to welcome this first class of students to the LPN Launch programs,” said Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims. “Huntsville Hospital has been an amazing partner in creating this unique program for our community.

“Together, we will help strengthen the North Alabama workforce with caring, well trained nursing professionals.”

Students will also serve as apprentices, according to Dr. Alice Raymond, Drake State chair of health sciences.

“The students taking part in the program will receive apprenticeships as part of their training,” she said. “When a community is educated and their socioeconomic status improves, their health status also improves.”

Raymond said the application process is extensive and the program plans to expand to 25 students by next spring.

For more details on the program or find more information on the spring 2023 class go to drakestate.edu or call 256-551-3156.

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