ACC-Lynwood Hosts Its Largest Turnout For VN Capping and Pinning Ceremony


As the July 2017 vocational nursing cohort from American Career College-Lynwood prepared to take the next step in its journey, class speaker Pilar Camarena took time to reflect on how far they had already come.

Camarena noted that she and her 20-plus classmates had already completed 12 weeks of schoolwork, or one-quarter of the VN program at ACC.

"But who's counting, right?" she joked to the large audience at St. Joseph Medical Center.

"It seems like it was just yesterday that we walked into class for the very first time," Camarena said. "Here we are after so many sleepless nights, studying various projects, countless homework, not to mention the almost daily testing quizzes. Yet this isn't the end, but only the beginning. Our nursing career starts today." 

After the October ceremony, she said, the VN cohort would move from the skills lab to clinical site, from working on medical mannequins to real people, with real heartbeats, and real families that loved them.

"Please understand the last three months have been no walk in the park for us, but filled with much sacrifice, sweat and tears," she said.

Camarena noted that her cohort was a diverse group, consisting of traditional, re-training and recycled learners.

"Some of us are here to set examples for our siblings or our kids. Some of us are the kids, following the example that was set by our parents. Others are simply here, proving to the world we can," she said. "No matter what path has brought us here, we all ended up on this journey together and sharing the same aspiration — to promote wellness to others — the same aspiration as our pioneer of nursing, Florence Nightingale."

Camarena also took time to thank the friends, family, loved ones and children of her classmates for their time patience and sacrifice — both now and in the upcoming months.

“Without you and your support, our accomplishments would nearly be impossible,” she said. “We apologize now, in advance, for our anxiety and our mood swings. Remember, it’s not you — it’s nursing school.”

ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing this program and other important information, visit

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