Oakton Recognizes 30 Nursing Graduates at Pinning Ceremony

Elena Gavriliuc displays her joy of being an Oakton nursing graduate

Des Plaines, Ill. (May 18, 2021) – Thirty students completed Oakton Community College’s Nursing Program this spring and are now on their way to beginning rewarding careers in the health care field. Oakton recognized the spring 2021 nursing graduates at a drive-up pinning ceremony Monday, May 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 2021,” Margaret Gas, Nursing chair, says. “This has been a very challenging time for our students. These inspirational graduates are entering the field when they’re needed most. Despite all the current turmoil, the pins will always identify our students as nursing graduates from Oakton and we know they will wear them with pride.”

The complete list of graduates includes

  • Hannah Abrudeanu, Des Plaines
  • Cindy Rios Barnes, Des Plaines
  • Katherine Bokina, Northbrook
  • Angela Brunner, Park Ridge
  • Rhett Buckley, Glenview
  • Ellen Cherkassky, Des Plaines
  • Sahir Chhotoo, Wilmette
  • Lauren Collins, Evanston
  • Psalm Angelo Cunanan, Niles
  • Cyra Doty, Northbrook
  • Jorge Galaviz, Des Plaines
  • Elena Gavriliuc, Northbrook
  • Myriam Harvey, Des Plaines
  • Gam Hauser, Des Plaines
  • Tianna Henry, Evanston
  • Audra Lawlor, Evanston
  • Nahrain Moshi, Niles
  • Sheena Kristen Nagales, Niles
  • Amy Neubauer, Des Plaines
  • Angela Nguyen, Park Ridge
  • Corrine Pacis, Niles
  • Ioana Pop, Des Plaines
  • Luciana Pujol, Glenview
  • Melissa Ramirez, Chicago
  • John Ezekiel See, Skokie
  • Adriana Sekuloska, Des Plaines
  • Tazneem Shaista, Des Plaines
  • Laura Tines, Morton Grove
  • Jessica Uy, Skokie
  • Latisha Walker, Evanston

This year’s class officers included: Lawlor (president), Buckely (vice president), Cherkassky (secretary), Doty (treasurer) and Pacis (activities director).

Gavriliuc 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 3.82 GPA. Abrudeanu, Lawlor, Moshi, Pujol and Shaista were recognized for graduating with honors, earning a GPA between 3.50 and 3.74.

“Graduating from Oakton’s nursing program has been an intense ride,” Gavriliuc said. “Along the way, there were heartfelt and knowledgeable instructors, beneficial college support services and newly built friendships that will last for life. During the COVID pandemic, I was impressed by the instructors’ dedication to offering us the clinical experience online. Then in the following fall and spring semesters, most students were back to clinical sites, whereas other nursing programs couldn’t yet offer students clinical sites.”

The college also inducted Buckley, Galaviz, Gavriliuc, Hauser, Henry, Lawlor, Nguyen, Pop and Pujol into the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society. The National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (N-OADN) recognizes top associate degree nursing students with membership in Alpha Delta Nu. To be considered, students must have completed their first year of nursing, maintained a 3.0 overall GPA and earned a B or better in the core nursing courses. Students also must demonstrate conduct on campus and in the clinical areas that reflect both integrity and professionalism. To be awarded full membership, students must finish their third semester of nursing and complete a group capstone project, which focuses on either recruitment or educational activities.

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.

Over the last five years, Oakton has averaged a first-time pass rate of over 90% on the NCLEX, the national licensure exam for nurses. In 2020, the pass rate was 93%.

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 spring 2022 are being accepted through July 31.

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

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