Future Certified Healers


A hands-on path to success in the medical field offered at Hicksville High School


Students immersed in the Nursing Assistant program offered at Hicksville High School can gain state-recognized certification.
(Photo courtesy of the Hicksville Public School District)

For the past three years, Hicksville High School (HHS) has offered interested students the opportunity to graduate with not only a Regents or Advanced Regents diploma, but with state-recognized Nurse Assistant Certification after two years and a minimum of 108 hours of outside clinical rotation experience. “Our goals are for each student to qualify for recognized certification and to meet our criteria of being college and career ready,” explained teacher Marie Brown.

Teacher Marie Brown works with students Jennifer Rodriguez (left) and Sheili Gallardo in Hicksville High School’s Nassau BOCES Barry Tech In-District Certified Nurse Assisting program.
(Photo courtesy of the Hicksville Public School District)

Brown has taught the in-district Certified Nurse Assisting program since its inception three years ago. Students attend class each morning for three periods and then carry a regular class load for the remainder of the day. BOCES Nurse Assistant Program is offered through Barry Tech in Westbury and held in a specially-equipped classroom at HHS. The program includes in-class preparation for a wide range of nursing skills, a clinical rotation at a nearby nursing home, and webinars and videoconferencing with doctors across the nation. The high school accepts approximately 20 students to the program each year.


Nurse Assistant students (from left): Jonathan Campos, Mirna Reyes and Keyle Zelaya review a patient feeding checklist after a classroom activity.
(Photo courtesy of the Hicksville Public School District)

“This is a great place for students to start in the fields of medicine and health care. These days, it’s so very difficult for high school graduates to get into college-level programs, this is a great way to gain an advantage. And students do not need to go into nursing to experience the benefits of our program; there are many health care careers, from medical stenography to nurse practitioner, where this program gives our students a leg-up.”
Hicksville High School juniors Zahra Hassan and Anna Marie DeJesus agree. With different professional goals in mind, each is finding the nursing assistant program to be a valuable, hands-on learning experience.

Hicksville High School juniors Zahra Hassan (left) and Anna Marie DeJesus shared their experiences as students in Nassau BOCES Barry Tech In-District Certified Nurse Assisting program.
(Photo courtesy of the Hicksville Public School District)

Inspired by cousins who are physicians in Germany, Zahra is very interested in pursuing a career in trauma surgery. In addition to her studies in HHS’s Nassau BOCES Barry Tech In-District Certified Nurse Assisting program, she volunteers every day after school at Winthrop Hospital, and is also enrolled in an anatomy class at SUNY Farmingdale.
“I aspire to be a surgeon because I like being focused on the patient’s life and putting them before myself.”




DeJesus is working toward a career in Diagnostic Medical Stenography. She also carries a heavy academic load as a HHS junior, in addition to working part-time at a local store.
“I used to be very shy,” she shared. “Working outside of school and being in the Nursing Assistant program has helped me to be more outgoing and proactive.”

It’s all about gaining an advantage in the field of medicine for HHS students (left to right) Jennifer Rodriquez, Sheili Gallardo and Farwa Hasan.
(Photo courtesy of the Hicksville Public School District)

Students can learn more about HHS’s program, as well as the many career opportunities supported by Nassau and Suffolk County BOCES—from aviation to veterinary science—through their high school guidance counselor.
Hicksville Middle School students and their parents are encouraged to research programs available through BOCES Career and Technical Education programs and/or to speak with his/her guidance counselor.

Parents and students can also visit the Barry Tech campus in Westbury for the school’s upcoming “Taste of Tech” event on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 8:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., or during the additional “Taste of Tech” events listed on the school’s online calendar: www.nassauboces.org/Page/8752. BOCES Barry Tech is located at 1196 Prospect Ave. in Westbury. To find out more information, call 516-622-6800.

To learn more about the programs available to Hicksville students through BOCES at their various locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, visit: www.nassauboces.org/ (Nassau); www.esboces.org/ (Eastern Suffolk); and www.wsboces.org/ (Western Suffolk).

—Submitted by Hicksville High School

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