Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations

Kenneth Hawker
Practical Nursing

According to the American Assembly for Men in Nursing organization, only six percent of males are employed in the nursing profession nationwide. But, Kenneth Hawker of Danville doesn’t want to be just a statistic. He says he has the passion and desire to help others and that is why he is considering a career in nursing.

“Nursing has always been my passion,? Hawker says. “I want to make an impact on a person’s life. I like the joy of helping people.?

Hawker, 27, hasn’t always planned this career. As a child, he says he wanted to be a lawyer. After high school he worked in the restaurant business. However, in 2003, he enrolled in DCC part time taking classes in preparation to enter a registered nursing program.

“I wasn’t really focused on what I was doing then and I didn’t do well,? Hawker admits.

During this time, he watched his sister, Ashley Danielle Hawker, complete DCC’s Practical Nursing program in December 2007, earning the “Best All Around Student Award?, and his cousin, Lindsey Danielle Hawker, who attended DCC and subsequently enrolled in a radiology technician training program.

“I came back to DCC in Fall 2008 and enrolled in the LPN program,? Hawker explains noting his goal is to work in a medical-surgery unit or in geriatrics. “This is something I really want to do.?

The 1999 Dan River High School graduate says returning to DCC was a pleasant experience. He plans to graduate in December 2009.

“DCC is more convenient for me. I have a daughter (Taylor) and I did not want to leave this area,? he says outlining his reasons for attending the community college. “When I first called to make an appointment to talk to someone (in Counseling), they made it so attractive to me that I wanted to be here.?

Hawker admits that it’s unusual to see male students enrolled in nursing programs, although they are very much in demand by employers. In his class, he is the only male among 25 students in the program.

“The RN (Registered Nursing) and LPN programs generally are stereotyped for females, but I don’t mind (being in the minority). There are times when a male nurse is preferable to a patient,? he adds. “It’s challenging being the only male in my class, but I’m the ‘go to’ person for technology. I haven’t had any problems whatsoever.?

He says he looks forward to more males pursuing nursing careers, but warns that it is a very challenging curriculum.

“The LPN program is very challenging. You must be dedicated to this career because it takes a lot of hours,? Hawker says. “I tell everybody, not just males, that it has to be something you want to do because not everybody can take care of people. You have to have the desire.?

Hawker says he appreciates the DCC nursing program faculty who go the extra mile to help students succeed.

“All of the LPN program instructors are great. They are there for students and take the time to answer questions,? he says adding that retiring DCC Biology Professor Ray Herndon was one of his favorites. “He (Herndon) pushed me to succeed. I now appreciate everything he did for me.?

DCC is currently accepting applications through March 15, 2009 for the Practical Nursing program. The next class begins in the Fall Semester 2009 (August). Students have the option of earning a Certificate (one year of full-time study) or the Associate Degree (five semesters)

For more information about the Practical Nursing or Registered Nursing programs, contact Tammy McKinney, Nursing Program Head, at 434.797.8416; Teresa Curran in the DCC’s Nursing Department Office at 434.797.8512; or click here.

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