First Class of Hospital-Sponsored LPNs

(Honesdale, June 13, 2023)… Three Wayne Memorial Hospital employees who took advantage of a tuition-paid program offered by the hospital graduated on Friday, June 9th as Practical Nurses. Wayne Memorial CEO James Pettinato, BSN, MHSA, CCRN-K participated in the pinning ceremony at the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County (CTCLC). The pinning signifies the completion of a level of education and officially welcomes the graduates into the profession of Nursing.

After 15 months of classroom and clinical experience, Mary Jane Lawal, Jessica Peterson and Dorothy Tighe now have temporary practice permits and are eligible to sit for the licensing exam.

“This means so much to me,” said Lawal, who says her healthcare journey began years ago. “I have always wanted to go into nursing but I had to drop out of school so many times because of family and other reasons. I have five children. The last one is graduating high school, so when this opportunity came up, they all supported me 100%– they said, Mom, go back to school, it’s what you always wanted! I am so proud of them and of myself.”

The nursing program initiative is one of several recruitment incentives Wayne Memorial currently utilizes to meet staffing needs. For the LPN program, applicants must continue working at Wayne Memorial at least 16 hours a week during their schooling and, after graduation, work fulltime at the hospital for two years. Human Resources’ Generalist Erika Collins said the LPN program has already enrolled another three students and is seeking to enroll more for the next class, which starts at the end of August. The tuition is paid in full for qualified candidates. Collins noted that the hospital is also offering generous sign-on bonuses for many nursing positions, including a $50,000 bonus for registered nurses willing to work certain critical shifts. For more information, contact

Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, a clinical affiliate of Wayne Memorial Hospital, is also offering tuition incentives for individuals interested in becoming certified medical assistants. To learn more, contact Victoria Purdy at

Photo, l. to r.: Mary Jane Lawal, Jessica Peterson, Dorothy Tighe and WMH CEO James Pettinato.