In December 2016, Danielle Panessa, 23, will complete nursing classes through Maricopa Community Colleges and graduate from Upper Iowa University with a bachelor’s degree. But her journey toward becoming a registered nurse actually began in her junior year of high school when Danielle enrolled in Human Anatomy & Physiology for Medical Careers, one of about a dozen programs offered in the East Valley Institute of Technology’s School of Health Sciences. She spent half of each day at EVIT’s centralized Main Campus and half at Mesa’s Red Mountain High School. In her second year at EVIT in 2010-11, Danielle completed the Nursing Assistant program, graduated from high school, and passed the Arizona State Board of Nursing’s Certified Nursing Assistant exam.
For about three years, Danielle worked as a CNA at Sunrise Assisted Living. “Being a CNA is a lot of work and I enjoyed every second of it,” she said. “Everyone has to start somewhere and work your way up. I think it is so important that every health-care worker experiences the hard work that goes into being a CNA.”
Danielle took additional classes to obtain her caregiver’s certification, and after eight months on the job, she was promoted to medication care manager. In the fall of 2014, she was accepted into the Maricopa Nursing/Upper Iowa Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP), and started her classes in 2015. Her ultimate goal is to become a surgical nurse.
Danielle credits EVIT with giving her a solid foundation toward her nursing career goals. “I have continually used the skills I learned at EVIT,” she said, “and I loved the time I was able to spend learning there.”
Our business partners and elected leaders are part of Danielle’s success! On behalf of Danielle and all EVIT students, we thank you for your support of quality career and technical education.
Students at EVIT’s centralized campuses have a 96% graduation rate, 2 out of 3 go to college, and 87% are in college, jobs or the military within one year of their EVIT training.