Soon-to-be nursing graduate Jimmy Lopez received the very first Florence Nightingale Student Nurse Award for Nursing Excellence at the December 7 pinning ceremony at LCCC.
The 38-year-old Avon resident originally went through LCCC’s LPN program and returned to complete the LPN to RN program. Today he works at Mercy Hospital in Lorain and is set to graduate this month. Lopez was also awarded a $500 scholarship at the ceremony to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing.
Lopez was surprised to receive the new award. “They tricked me,” he said, laughing. “I didn’t even know I was getting it. I felt honored.”
Nursing faculty created the inaugural nursing excellence award for recognition of students who give back and exemplify the characteristics of Florence Nightingale, who developed innovative nursing practices for the 19th century and beyond.
Nursing school at LCCC “was a great learning experience,” he said. “Everyone in the program was helpful. I felt like I was part of a team.”
As a “people-person,” Lopez found nursing to be his calling, and likes the fact that nursing has many different types of care to pursue. Before nursing, Lopez worked various jobs, including working in a call center, he said.
Lopez said he hopes future students continue to pursue their passions. “If you have a dream, follow it no matter what comes your way. Stick to what you want to do,” he said. “Sometimes you fall, but if you stick it out, most of the time, it works out.”