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Career & Technical School News

Adult lives her dream thanks to Capital Region BOCES Adult Health Careers Prog.


Latham resident jumps from the frying pan into .... scrubs

Latham resident Jackie McCormack is living out her childhood dream thanks to Capital Region BOCES and the Adult Health Careers program.

The 54-year-old is poised to graduate this June from the program after re-envisioning her future and retiring from the only career she knew – restaurants.

“I worked in the restaurant industry for years. I started as server and worked my way to banquet manager and restaurant manager. I always wanted to be a nurse,” she said.

“Four years ago when my mother passed away, all of my dreams resurfaced and I saw how they cared for her and all of the other patients. I decided then to do it.”

So, when the opportunity arose, she started down that path. At 52, she started taking preparatory courses and at the age of 53 she started the full-time Adult Practical Nursing Program at Capital Region BOCES’ Albany campus.

“It was a big change. You have to readjust your whole life. You need to learn how to study again, build time into your day for homework. It’s a massive adjustment,” she said.

Jackie inserts a catheterOffered just for adult students, the Adult Practical Nursing Program encompasses 1,100 classroom hours, clinical study and practice. Upon completion, students are eligible to take the NCLEX Practical Nursing examination for licensure to become a licensed practical nurse.

While McCormick is devoted to just taking the course, she looks around the classroom at the approximately 100 students who are also taking the class and realizes how lucky she is.

“I am amazed, amazed at the single parents who are here taking this course, working and raising children.”

While she said the course is tough, it is also rewarding.

“As challenging as it is in the classroom, when you get out into the clinicals and are applying what you have learned and are able to help people, it is just so rewarding,” McCormack said.

Her clinical work has taken her so far to Ellis Hospital, Capital Living and Rehabilitation Center and Albany County Nursing Home, three of the seven sites nursing students complete clinical hours in. Others include Baptist Health Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Guilderland Nursing Home, Kingsway Arms Nursing Center and Teresian House.

As to her future, McCormack plans to take the LPN licensing exam upon graduation and find work in the industry, but she also plans to return to school.

“I will probably take the RN courses because I just like the challenge these classes present,” she said.

McCormack also urges those who have always had a dream to pursue it.

“I was one of those people who were afraid to go back to school, but you just have to do it. The benefits are so worth it.”



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