Rose Mangold met Holden Forman during a difficult time. Her mother was in the hospital. It was Forman’s upbeat personality, combined with his love for singing, that put Mangold and her family at ease.
“Holden had my 90-year-old mother telling life stories, singing and laughing as she waited for a room to move from the ER,” said Mangold. “She repeated herself many times, and each time he continued to be interested in what she had to say.”
Though Forman is only halfway through Meridian’s 12-month Practical Nursing program, his impact is already reaching beyond the classroom.
“I try to view patients like family members,” said Forman. “Taking that view makes it really easy to connect with people.”
Forman didn’t always know he wanted to be a nurse. He had a caring side and initially wanted to be a veterinarian. His desire to help people during the pandemic prompted him to start working in health care.
“I became a CNA at Golden Age Nursing Home in Guthrie,” he said. “That experience made me realize I wanted to be in health care and continue my education.”
Forman is familiar with a variety of Meridian’s programs. He expanded his health care knowledge by taking courses like Medical Terminology and Anatomy and Physiology at Meridian before enrolling full-time.
“Holden was able to complete his pre-requisites for the Practical Nursing program through our online short course offerings,” said Rena Hines, Director of Adult Training and Development. “These online courses allowed him to study and complete assignments and testing on a flexible timeline that worked best for him.”
After completing the prerequisites, Forman was accepted into the Practical Nursing program. Then he began applying the skills he was learning in the classroom to the work he was doing in the field.
“From the very beginning of our courses we talk about communication,” said Dolores Cotton, Practical Nursing Coordinator. “A thoughtful attitude and good communication skills are vital for patient satisfaction.”
In the program students learn a comprehensive set of skills in addition to core competencies that range from active listening to explaining medical procedures in an easily understandable way. Cotton said it’s not uncommon for students to come back to talk about how well Meridian prepared them for their careers.
“As a student at Meridian, you’re going to be getting a family,” Forman said. “You’re going to get an education and a relationship with instructors and classmates who truly care and want to see you succeed.”
After he graduates from Meridian, Forman plans to continue his education with a nursing bridge program and earn his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with the ultimate goal of being a traveling nurse.
“I want to be someone people can rely on,” Forman said. “I want people to feel like they are being listened to and well taken care of. To me, that connection is the end goal.”
Meridian’s Practical Nursing program can be completed in 12 months. New classes start in March and September of each year. There are prerequisites for admission consideration. Individuals who are interested in the program must attend an application orientation. Sessions will be offered from March to June. The deadline to apply for September enrollment is July 1. Information can be found at meridiantech.edu/lpn.
Upon successful completion of the Practical Nursing program, graduates may apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. Once licensed, graduates will be prepared to work in hospitals, home health, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities and various health care agencies. Meridian graduates have a 89% average pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and 94% job placement.