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50 years of professionalism: Nursing program celebrates milestone

Wendy Miller Nursing 50th Anniversary

Wendy Miller, Dean of Health Professions

Last week, the ECC nursing program celebrated with alumni, faculty, students, and clinical partners at a party befitting its 50 years of excellence and professionalism. Attendees were treated to remarks from nursing alumni Linda Deering, '81, president of Advocate Sherman Hospital, and Julie Lichtenberg, '80, director of patient care services and operations at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, as well as tours of the modern, hospital environment of Building A's classrooms and laboratories.

“The nursing program's 50th anniversary celebration provided a wonderful forum for alumni to mingle with former classmates and faculty, reminisce about nursing school experiences, and gain an appreciation for the state-of-the-art simulation equipment that ECC utilizes in student education today,” said Wendy Miller, dean of health professions. “It was truly inspiring to see so many friends of the nursing program gathered together for the golden anniversary.”  

The nursing program began in 1965 as a way to address the closing of Sherman Hospital's (now Advocate Sherman Hospital) nursing school. The program was housed in the Gospel Chapel in downtown Elgin until finding a permanent home on the Spartan Drive Campus in 1970. In 2012, the college opened Building A, which provided a simulated hospital environment complete with high-tech mannequins that have the ability to mimic any number of health conditions.

Since the first graduating class in 1967, 3,393 total graduates have received a nursing AAS degree from ECC. Nursing Professor Mary Arndt said she's proud when she sees students she taught become her colleagues.

“It's a great feeling that you had something to do with their success,” said Arndt. “You feel like you're making a significant contribution because we need quality nurses.”

ECC Nursing by the numbers

  • Received national accreditation in 1969 from Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly NLNAC)
  • 12 full-time nursing faculty
  • 9 current faculty members are ECC alumni 
  • 3 nursing labs
  • 4 simulation rooms
  • 2 validation labs
  • 24 clinical partners
  • 31 clinical sites
  • Many ECC nursing alumni are employed at Advocate Sherman Hospital, Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, AMITA Health, or Centegra Health System    



Related Link: Nursing Program

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