The decision to increase the award to $300 was due in part to the gratitude and inspirational speech of the 2004 award recipient, Anna Fuller of Elliotsburg. Dr. Everett Hills, who is now Medical Society president, presented Fuller with the award and was also moved to print her speech in the Society's newsletter.
Dauphin County Medical Society established the Excellence in Clinical Nursing Award in 1990. Fuller was the 15th HACC nursing student to receive the award.
"This is a very prestigious award and honor for the recipient, because it's an excellence award and requires a total nursing faculty vote to determine the most deserving student," said HACC Director of Nursing Ronald Rebuck.
In Fuller's acceptance speech, she spoke of being a first-generation college student, with little experience with this type of classroom setting when she started, had no medical background and was straight out of high school and scared.
"A year later, when I started HACC's nursing school, I found out that I really had a limited idea of what it meant to be a nurse," said Fuller.
"I thought nurses just followed doctors' orders and passed out pills. When I found out what they really did, I just about passed out. They were making us write nursing diagnoses and doing a whole lot more than I ever dreamed. So now, after two years of nursing school, I am proud to be able to say that I am a graduate nurse and excited to begin my new career."
HACC is the largest provider of healthcare training and education in central Pennsylvania. The college also is the second largest educator of nurses in the Commonwealth and has one of the highest pass rates in the nation for the NCLEX-RN exam, with an exceptional number of HACC students passing the exam for the past six years.