In mid-May, the Nursing Department at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) celebrated the certification of 11 student nurses with a Pinning Ceremony that took place in the auditorium of the College’s new Multi-Purpose Center, with Nursing Department chairperson Lele Ah Mu presiding over the event. Joining the Nursing Department faculty, students and professional advisors for the ceremony were Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga, who also provided the evening’s special remarks, Board of Higher Education chairman Rev. Dr. Leanavaotaua Sekuini Seva’aetasi; ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato and members of the College’s administration; Rev. Manuele Mataafa, CCCAS Poloa; Representative Talalelei Fautanu Jr., Chairman of the Health Committee; Department of Health Director Tuileama Nua; LBJTMC CEO Faumuina John Faumuina; Ofu & Olosega Representative Toeaina Autele; and the family and friends of the graduating nurses.
This semester’s Pinning Ceremony spotlighted eight ASCC nursing students who recently passed and three more who will soon take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States and Canada. The examination takes two forms - the NCLEX-RN for Registered Nurses and the NCLEX-PN for Practical Nurses. “A Registered Nurse can advance to any position, such as a director of nursing, a supervisor or manager and with a wide range of responsibilities,” explained Nursing chairperson Lele Ah-Mu. “They can be a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and more. A Licensed Practical Nurse provides basic nursing care and works under the direction of an RN or a physician.”
Of the 11 ASCC student nurses honored during the ceremony, Ruby Fia, June Fuiava-Fa’apue, Toetuua Iosefa, Tualupetu Lauina, Mautumua Maulupe, Sweetheart Nua, Kristal Tautolo, and Kimberly Ueligitone now have their licenses as Practical Nurses, while one additional PN candidate, Ferila Metuli, will re-take the NCLEX-PN in July after her initial testing process was compromised due to computer error. RN candidates Ria Lefiti and Tiffany Taumua have completed their program requirements and will soon take the NCLEX-RN for their certification as Registered Nurses. The Pinning Ceremony involves both nursing professionals and the family members of each respective student, who each perform a part in conferring each graduate’s official nursing pin and cap. The graduates received additional words of encouragement in the addresses by Lt. Gov. Lemanu, ASCC President Dr. Makaiwi-Pato and keynote speaker Sylvia Tauiliili, RN, MPH.
Ah-Mu shared that all of this semester’s RN and PN graduates have already secured employment with either LBJ Hospital or the Department of Health. “We take pride in doing all we can to address our Territory’s nursing shortage,” she said. “This is a major concern for our health care system, with many older nurses retiring and many young ones moving off-island. The nurses in our Territory often need to work overtime so that all shifts have adequate staff and all essential duties are performed. For this reason, we encourage anyone who has an interest in the profession to find out more about the Nursing program at ASCC.”
For more information on the ASCC Nursing Program, see the College’s Catalog, accessible online at www.amsamoa.edu.