MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 3, 2013

Celebrate 50 years of nursing

Ceremony marks half century of nursing training at Bacone College

Peggy Parsons recalls her excitement in 1963 when she heard about a “new” associate’s degree nursing program at Bacone College.

She said she was a young mother working as a licensed practical nurse at Muskogee General Hospital and dreamed of becoming a registered nurse. That new degree opened that door.

“The hospital’s women’s auxiliary funded my education,” Parsons said. “Of course, I had to pay it back when I graduated.”

Parsons will join in celebrating 50 years of Nursing Education at Bacone at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Virginia Palmer Student Life Center. Past and present instructors, directors and students, will attend the gala, which includes a lunch and campus tours.

Parsons and others from that first graduating class will then participate in the pinning ceremony for current associates degree in nursing graduates — Bacone’s final ADN class.

Bacone Nursing Department Chair Kathryn Bible said the Associate Degree in Nursing Program will discontinue after July 31, but the bachelor’s degree program will continue.

Bible said she feels bittersweet about the upcoming celebration.

“I graduated from the program in 1991 and nursing became my profession,” Bible said. “It was a career for me.”

In early 2012, the program was placed on a “conditional approval” status by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. In August, after a six-month review, a task force unanimously agreed to discontinue the degree.

Bacone Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty Dr. Robert K. Brown said the decision to discontinue the ADN program “is simply about resources, revenue and Bacone’s continued expansion as a baccalaureate-level institution.

“Our analysis has shown that the greatest potential for growth is in the BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) program, which coincides with Bacone becoming a four-year institution,” Brown said in an email. “The college did not have the physical and personnel resources to support an associate's and bachelor's program.”

Bible said this year’s associate degree in nursing class has 29 students.

Parsons, coordinator of the 50-year celebration, said 1,585 students, including this year’s class, graduated from the Bacone nursing program since the year she graduated in 1965.

“The 1965 class was the first class to graduate,” Parsons said. “We have seven members of our class coming back.”

She recalled several instructors who inspired her to learn.

“Capt. Luther Bazeman was a military nurse and a double amputee,” Parsons said. “Back then we never had elevators in the buildings. Capt. Bazeman inspired us to no end. He said you can get it if you want, you just have to reach at it.”

Parsons worked at Muskogee General Hospital (which later became Muskogee Regional Medical Center) for 26 years. She then spent 16 years at the Cardiology Clinic of Muskogee. After that, she taught medical coding for four years at Bacone.

“Now I volunteer for the hospital and the college,” she said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Billie R. Tower Nursing Program at Bacone College.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Virginia Palmer Student Life Center at Bacone Commons, 2412 E. Shawnee Bypass.

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks