Kami Dugan: From Practical Nursing student to Program Director

October 18, 2023

  In 2015, Kami Dugan was looking to pivot into a new career. Although she had successfully earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, she found it difficult to find a stable job where she could advance. Kami was working retail and teaching ESL part-time but was looking for a challenge and a career she was passionate about. After the ESL teaching program lost funding, she decided to make a change. Kami has always been interested in science and biology but knew she couldn’t afford to spend another four years to get a degree. The Practical Nursing Program at LCCTC offered Kami the perfect opportunity to gain licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 12 months while she worked part-time in the evenings. 

Kami knew that being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was just the first step in her journey; she did some research and found that as an LPN, she could work for a company that would help fund her education as an RN while employed. Although her new path had a promising trajectory, Kami wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit until she started her classes in the PN program. Her experience at LCCTC solidified that she made the right choice. “This program was so life-changing for me. I knew this is where I wanted to end up.” Although the first part of her journey was not easy, the pace and rigorous academics proved to be the challenge she was looking for. Kami received her Practical Nursing diploma within a year, was named valedictorian, and earned a leadership award. Upon graduation and licensure, she was hired by Lancaster General Health.

Practical Nursing students in the classroom

From there, LGH funded her education at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. Kami received credit from her LPN training at LCCTC towards her first year of RN training, and within a year, she received her RN. She then earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2019 and finally her Master of Science in Nursing Education in August of 2021. Throughout that time, Kami also worked full-time and gained experience in her field. While working towards her BSN, Kami came back to LCCTC to teach part-time. Upon graduating from her master’s program, a position opened up as the Assistant Director of the PN program at LCCTC. She was encouraged to apply and was then offered the job. However, she was torn because she enjoyed her LGH Hospital position. 

Ultimately, Kami took the job at the CTC and described having the two opportunities as a gift. “I look back, and I was so blessed to have two great job opportunities; it’s a good predicament to be in, to love the culture, benefits, and being fulfilled [by both options].” She would not have been in this position if she hadn’t taken the leap into something new in 2015. 

In 2023, Kami became the Director of the Practical Nursing Program at LCCTC. Since her promotion, Kami has already had quite a few accomplishments. The Health Sciences Campus is bustling with four cohorts of Practical Nursing students, which have grown to a total of 135 students. The latest NCLEX Pass rates for students following graduation are at 91.2%, a high percentage compared to other locations, and the program has added several clinical locations to their rotation to allow students to gain experience in areas including pediatric care, a medical-surgical unit, long-term care, and more. Kami’s perseverance and drive to reach her education and career goals have already transferred seamlessly to her new position, and we look forward to great things for the Practical Nursing program and its students! 

Kami awarding graduating PN Student her diploma

If you or a loved one is interested in pivoting or furthering your healthcare career, see if the Practical Nursing Program Is for you! We offer full, or part-time programs to best fit your schedule. Our Open House will be held on November 14 from 5-7 PM at our Health Sciences Campus. For more information on our program, check out our website or e-mail admissions@lancasterctc.edu. 

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