MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Career Center School of Practical Nursing was established in 1978 and has a long history of nursing excellence. One of the guiding forces behind that excellence was the late Elinor Swanson, who helped found the school and was its nursing coordinator until 1989.
Each new student learns about Swanson’s contribution to the field of nursing, her compassion, professionalism and high expectations for every student.
Veteran KCCC employee Anita Van Winkle described Swanson’s rich legacy. “She was absolutely the heart and soul of that nursing program,” said Van Winkle. “She set the standards for what they are today. She was the driving force behind the quality of the programs we have today. It was so professional, from attire to determination and fortitude. The encouragement and the caring support she gave to the men and women she felt would be an asset to the nursing field was amazing. She was very giving, funny, and, although in adult education, really supported the day school, too. She saw the whole picture.”
Recent graduate Kim Stevens was impressed by what she heard about Swanson and felt that Swanson needed to have some special recognition. Having noticed other memorial pictures in the career center buildings on Martinsburg Road, Stevens decided to use her artistic gifts and create a memorial portrait of Swanson for the new medical training facility on Yauger Road.
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