Nursing graduates accounted for more than 60% of the 484 degrees awarded at the 2018 Norton Healthcare Workforce Development graduation ceremony.

Champions are made, not born. From Vince Lombardi to Michael Jordan, this popular saying has been attributed to many people, yet who said it is far less important than what it means. True champions — whatever their field or endeavor — have dreams and work hard to make those dreams come true. It means they overcome obstacles, setbacks and failures.

By all measures, Norton Healthcare’s 2018 Workforce Development graduates are true champions. Together, these individuals spent countless hours attending classes, completing assignments and studying for exams — often while juggling work schedules and family obligations. Many surely faced roadblocks and detours, yet they pursued their goals and dreams to a successful end.

Norton Healthcare’s Office of Workforce Development and Norton University were honored to celebrate this group’s commitment and hard work at a special graduation ceremony held Jan. 23, 2019, at The Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport Expo Center Hotel. A total of 484 degrees were awarded to this most recent graduating class. Nursing graduates accounted for 68.2 percent of degrees awarded in the following categories:

Norton Healthcare Scholars Program: 40

Certificate: 19

Diploma: 4

Associate degree: 71

Bachelor’s degree: 244

Master’s degree • 61

Doctoral degree: 45

According to Christy Ralston, R.N., director, Workforce Development, encouraging academic progression is a defining characteristic of Norton Healthcare’s mission to provide quality health care.

“By creating a culture of continual learning, we’re providing care to employees, and this allows us to provide care to patients,” Christy said. “By 2020, one in five jobs will be in health care, so investing in staff development will become more important than ever.”

Norton Healthcare offers employees an array of programs and educational assistance to support their efforts to obtain degrees and credentials that prepare them for future advancement. Seven years ago, Norton University and Workforce Development pledged that our employees would attain 1,500 degrees by 2020.