Whitesburg KY
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Attending college locally pays off, Mrs. Wright says




Neon resident Ellen Wright attributes her success to a college degree.

Neon resident Ellen Wright attributes her success to a college degree.

Letcher County resident Ellen Wright attributes her success to a college degree and is encouraging recent high school graduates to continue their education as well.

After graduating from Fleming-Neon High School, Wright, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s chief nursing officer, attended Letcher County Vocational School’s first licensed practical nursing program.

“That is when I found my love for nursing and wanted to pursue more education and advance my degree in nursing,” she said. After graduating from Hazard Community College in 1988, she went on to receive a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and Certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“The education I received at (Hazard) was excellent,” Wright said. “My classroom and clinical experience adequately prepared me for my new role as a registered nurse upon graduation. The faculty is exceptional.”

The Hazard school is now known as the Hazard Community and Technical College and counts Wright’s son among its current students. “My son realized he could achieve his goals and have a successful career at home for a very affordable price,” she said.

For others considering the same career she has chosen, Wright noted, “Healthcare offers some of the best paying positions in our region. There will always be a need for healthcare workers with an aging population.”

ARH recently announced a $47 million expansion project at its Hazard facility that will provide an additional 150 healthcare related jobs. ARH, which operates the Whitesburg hospital, also recently purchased Mary Breckenridge Hospital in Leslie County.

Wright and her husband Timothy Wright have been married for 29 years and live in Neon. She is active in the Seco Freewill Baptist where she teaches a teen-aged Sunday school class and is part of a clown troupe, The Sonshine Kids. The troupe consists of two adults and 10 kids from 6 to 14 years of age. She also is active in the Ignite Youth Ministry.

“I believe investing in our youth yields one of the greatest returns of any investment one could make,” Wright said. “They need a strong foundation of values and support from family and friends.”


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