Practical nursing students hosting memorial run to honor classmate

Practical nursing students hosting memorial run to honor classmate
Posted on 04/17/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Practical nursing students hosting memorial run to honor classmateNormally, when a nurse goes running by it may be a good indicator that someone is injured and needing assistance. However, if you happen to be on the Northeast Tech Pryor Campus on the morning of May 19, these nurses will be running to raise scholarships for students.

On the morning of Saturday, May 19, the Northeast Tech Pryor Campus will transform into a 5K course for the second annual Armed & Dangerous 5K Run/Walk. Named in honor of a former practical nursing (PN) student who lost his battle with cancer, the run was created to generate scholarships for PN students.

“Every year, we have students who struggle to keep up with the costs associated with the Practical Nursing Program, and we wanted to find a way to help them eliminate that barrier,” said PN Administrative Assistant Sarah Thompson. “We also thought it would be nice if we could find a way to do that while also honoring one of our own – Ken Heddlesten.”

Ken Heddlesten was PN student during the 2015-2016 school year. Sadly, shortly before completing the program, Heddlesten was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only months to live. Ken’s family, friends and classmates still mourn his loss. His was a life of service to others, first in the military and then in the medical realm, and naming a scholarship effort in his honor seemed a fitting way to honor their fallen classmate.

“It just seemed to fit – he lived to serve others, and this run generates scholarships that enable students to achieve their career goal of serving others,” Thompson said.

Last year’s run raised $1,123 in scholarship dollars, and Christy Cornell was one of three recipients of a Ken Heddlesten Scholarship in 2017. She credits the scholarship with keeping her on track and ready to graduate from the program this June.

“As a self-pay student, when my family suffered a job loss, these scholarships provided the funds to remain active in the program,” Cornell said. “I would have been forced to withdraw had it not been for the assistance.”

While the mission of the event remains the same, there have been a few changes in the structure of the event. This year’s Armed & Dangerous 5K Run/Walk is a sanctioned event, meaning that it will be a timed event that can serve as a qualifier for serious runners. The course has also been certified by the USA Track & Field organization which guarantees distance accuracy and allows runners to accurately track and compare their performance.

“We hope these improvements will draw serious runners to our event, but we will still have family-friendly options for those who might not be interested in distance running,” Thompson said. “People can walk it, run or even follow along online with a virtual run.”

Another big change is the addition of sponsors to this year’s event.

“We’ve had fantastic support from our event sponsors: Hillcrest, Moore Farms, Head 2 Tail Grooming and Viking Packing Specialist,” said Thompson. “With their help, not only has our event gotten better, but I’m hopeful that it will also result in an increase in the scholarship dollars we generate.”

Everyone who participates will receive a T-shirt and goodie bag, and those items are included in the cost of registration. Registration for the Armed & Dangerous 5K Run/Walk is now open and online at The race itself will take place on May 19.

Those who register before the Early Bird Deadline of May 3 will pay $30, and all other registrations up to the day of the race are $35. Those interested in the virtual run will pay only $25, and there is no registration deadline for the virtual run. On the day of the race, registration will open at 8 a.m., and the run itself will begin at 9 a.m.

All the proceeds will be used to offer scholarships to PN students who are accepted into the program and need help offsetting costs. For example, students take an NCLEX Review Class, which can cost upwards of $200 and is not included in their tuition. Often times the class requires travel and an overnight stay, however the class is beneficial in helping students pass their boards.

“Rather than having a student withdraw from the program because of these additional expenses or unforeseen financial circumstances, we want to help,” said Thompson. “We all know life happens, but it’s our goal here to help them succeed.”
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