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EMCC Celebrates Its Nursing Students

Nurses week flyer 2021 Nurses week Rayann Nurses week Sarah

National Nurses Week is May 6-12

AVONDALE, ARIZONA, May 03 – National Nurses Week is May 6-12 and Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is celebrating by looking back at a couple of its own homegrown heroes.

Rayann Gionet graduated from EMCC in 2017 with an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in nursing and received her Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing (BSN) the following year from Franklin Pierce University through the Concurrent Enrollment Program. Rayann already held a bachelor’s in elementary education when she began her journey at EMCC but she just wasn’t satisfied in her current career. In her heart, she’d always wanted to be a nurse but with little twins at home to care for, she chose a degree she could earn solely online.

That passion for nursing never waned and once her children (now numbering four) were old enough to go to school, she enrolled in the Nursing Program and graduated less than two years later, earning the “Outstanding Student of the Year” award from Franklin Pierce.

“That was really cool because my kids were so excited,” she said. “I think that really helped me get a job so quickly.”

Her impressive resume also surely played a part in Banner Health’s scooping her up less than two weeks after she graduated. Rayann was chosen by Franklin Pierce’s Director of the Nursing Department, Paula McWilliam, to help her test a laryngoscope she’d invented for use on premature babies.

“Rayann's drive and determination made her an ideal candidate for the research opportunities Franklin Pierce University afforded her,” EMCC Clinical Nursing Professor Dr. Roni Collazo said.

To read more about Rayann, go to

Sarah Idowu is a current nursing student. The wife and mother of seven enrolled in EMCC’s Nursing Program last fall, about five months after the pandemic hit, and feels more passionate about nursing now than ever before.

“It has fueled my desire to help heal people, to comfort, and advocate for others,” she said. “COVID has caused so much pain and suffering in many people's lives, I definitely want to be a vessel used to end it.”

Like Rayann, Sarah started out on a different career path before turning toward her true calling.

“I was a pre-med major,” she said. “But then soon discovered after my father's second stroke when I helped him with his medication and would give him daily blood glucose monitoring that I was meant to be a nurse.”

Sarah is completing her clinicals at Abrazo West in Goodyear where she recently administered the COVID-19 vaccine to one of her EMCC Nursing Professors, Dr. Roni Collazo.

"Realizing that you are giving an injection to one of your nursing faculty could be a little unnerving, but Sarah administered the vaccination with excellent technique,” Dr. Collazo said. “It was a privilege to have her administer my vaccine.”

To read more about Sarah, go to

Estrella Mountain Community College’s (EMCC) Nursing Program offers smaller class sizes than large universities, affordable education, financial aid counseling, and application assistance. Students have the ability to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing while earning an associate degree through the Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP). To learn more, go to

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Estrella Mountain Community College is one of the ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. EMCC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates, and short-term job training to more than 14,000 students annually. The flagship campus is located on Thomas and Dysart roads in Avondale. Classes are also offered online and at the EMCC @ West-MEC Southwest Campus at 500 N. Verrado Way, Buckeye.

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