(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • June 23, 2014)— Delaware County Community College alumna and Atglen resident Dr. Dori Lawson ’03 is this year’s Alumni Professional Achievement Award winner. The award recognizes graduates who are accomplished in their profession, having demonstrated a significant level of distinction within their chosen field. Lawson, a board certified family nurse practitioner at Cardiology Associates of West Reading, received the award at the College’s Commencement ceremony in May where she also served as the keynote speaker.
“It all started right here…it started because Delaware County Community College believed in a middle-aged woman with no degree, no money, but a big dream. They helped me build the foundation on which my success stands today,” Lawson said in her keynote speech delivered to the College’s graduates. Her daughter, brother and father—who provided support along the way—were also in attendance.
It was in 2001 when Lawson’s educational journey began. At that point she was already a successful nurse who had worked in every department from the delivery to the emergency room, but she yearned for something else. After seeing an ad promoting adult education at the College, Lawson decided to take the first step toward her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner.
Once enrolled in classes, Lawson quickly acclimated back to academic life and developed a new thirst for learning. By the time she completed her associate degree in Science for Health Professions, she had the confidence she needed to continue working towards her dream. She transferred to West Chester University, where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in just two semesters, and then enrolled at Wilmington University where she earned a Master of Science in Nursing in 2007.
After taking a year off to gain her footing as a nurse practitioner, Lawson enrolled at Robert Morris University where she graduated with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2012. “It still makes me wonder what I was thinking … diploma to doctorate in 11 years,” she said. “It is not recommended for the faint of heart.”
Today, Lawson manages Cardiology Associates’ anticoagulation clinic, doing stress tests and seeing patients and helps treat acute care patients at Reading Hospital. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge, serving as a mentor for Doctor of Nursing Practice candidates and Nurse Practitioner students along with lecturing to various groups about emerging issues in cardiology and health and wellness.
Caption: Delaware County Community College's 2014 Alumni Professional Achievement Award winner Dr. Dori Lawson with College President Dr. Jerry Parker.
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