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The college named the new director on Thursday.

BCC Names Interim Director of Nursing

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Christine Martin will take over as interim director.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Christine Martin is taking over as head of the nursing program at BCC.
 
Berkshire Community College named Martin the interim director of nursing on Thursday. The appointment comes a month after former director Tochi Urbani resigned from the position in the midst of trouble with the program's accreditation. 
 
Martin is no stranger to the program. She has taught at the college since 1993 and has worked as a tenured Professor in the Practical Nursing Program as well as the Associate Degree Nursing Program, an Adjunct Clinical Nursing Faculty member, an instructor of the Bridge Course called LPN to RN Mobility, as a CPR Instructor, and as an instructor of the Berkshire Health System's Life Management Skills Grant Program.
 
Martin, of Pittsfield, earned her degree from Henry Heywood Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Gardner and then a bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Massachusetts. She was also a staff nurse at Berkshire Medical Center from 1998 until 2017.
 
Urbani's last day was Oct. 3. The college has been trying to elevate its accreditation from a newly assigned "approval with warning" status and the deadline was at the end of September to fix a number of cited issues. 
 
The change in status stems from a board visit in May that was triggered by a low percentage of graduates passing the NCLEX — the National Council Licensure Examination exam for nurses to become certified. In 2017, just 74 percent of the program's graduates passed the exam on their first try. That triggered a visit from the accrediting agencies, which then revealed a number of problems, mostly characterized as housekeeping items. 
 
The college emphasized that the program's change in status was not due to anything student related but was mostly administrative and recordkeeping items. Two months after the status was changed, Urbani resigned. College officials say other team members were helping with the accreditation process and Urbani was staying on to see it through.
 
The college them focused its attention on finding an interim director and will also launch a research for a permanent one. 

Tags: BCC,   nursing education,   

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Adult Learning Center Grads Get New Lease on Life

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff

Student speaker Brittany Sullivan shared her story of how she turned her life around. More photos from there ceremony can be found here.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — When Brittany Sullivan lost her sister, her life spiraled out of control. 
 
"When I was 14 years old, my sister died suddenly in a car accident. This sent me into a downward spiral that led me to drinking, smoking, and dipping into opioids, which eventually got me kicked out of my home at 17. Shortly after, I dropped out of high school," Sullivan said.
 
At the time Sullivan was already struggling with depression. She felt that she was "stupid and inadequate." That feeling had set in because she didn't start school until the age of 9 and when she did, she was far behind the other students. She was held back a grade and was constantly being pulled out of class to receive extra help.
 
"At the tender age of 9, I accepted the life that I was stupid and inadequate. I already struggled with anxiety and depression. It wasn't long before I started full-on panic attacks and self harming. I had already built a firm foundation of self-hate and acceptance that I was a failure and I hadn't even finished elementary school," Sullivan said.
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