Oral History

Memories of June C. Horning

I have known June Horning for many years as a faculty nurse in the Alvernia College Nursing Department.

Before coming to Alvernia, June completed her undergraduate academic training at Albright, where she majored in Biology.  Then she earned a Master’s degree in Nursing from Yale University School of Nursing.  June also did graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, and Kutztown University.

June worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, where she was responsible for some areas of Medical/Surgical Nursing and became interested in the American Red Cross. Later she was employed at Reading Area Community College as a Clinical Coordinator and Professor of Nursing.  There she was one of three people who helped to develop the curriculum for an Associate Degree in Nursing program.

Learning of a vacancy in the nursing faculty at Alvernia College, June applied for the position.  The strenuous and demanding workload qt RACC helped her to decide to accept the position at Alvernia as Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Professor.  Together with Sister Stella, June assisted with the self-study for the National League of Nursing (NLN).  Finally the accreditation at Alvernia was received!

Community General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital were used by Alvernia student nurses for pediatric, medical/surgical, and obstetrics internships and training.  The Reading Rehabilitation Center was a source for clinical practices.

As June continued describing her work, a question loomed in our minds:  why not an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) program at Alvernia?  The following seemed to justify the answer.  Since our congregation was involved in hospital work and our ministry included taking care of the sick, it seemed appropriate that an ADN program was feasible.  However, at that time the administration was not prepared to meet the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

In 1989 June became a part-time Educational Consultant for the Alvernia RN completion program.  She also taught Community Nursing and Pathophysiology.

Today, accreditation requirements for nursing programs have changed.  A committee of the Commission on Nursing for Higher Education (CCNE) in the United States evaluates nursing programs.

In 1991, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) sponsored a trip for June to Zambia, Africa.  There she was the Administrator and Nursing Educator in a Brethren-in-Christ Mission Nursing School.  For three years she taught about fifty students who all passed the National Nursing Exam for the first time.

June spend several weeks as a volunteer nurse at the Villa of St. Joseph upon her return to Reading.  At the request of Sister Lorentia, the administrator of the Villa, June accepted the position as Staff Development Coordinator and Risk Manager.

At St. Joseph Villa, June led a group of staff, whose purpose was to encourage employees to dialogue and to participate in group discussions.  Staff members became team leaders.  Activities included praying and luncheons where staff shared their spiritual needs – here a kindness grew and thrived.  After several meetings, another staff member would become a team leader.  A part of the program was in-services on different topics.  One example: Jennifer Glass, an Assistant Director of the Associates, gave the group the history of the Bernardine Sisters who staff and reside at the Villa.

June explained to me that she tries to make the staff do more than the normal required duties, to do their job a little better, or as June puts it, to be “extraordinaire”.

Here are some of June Horning’s Awards:

  1. American Red Cross Nursing Award
  2. Berks County Nursing Hall of  Fame
  3. Who’s Who in American Nursing
  4. Award of Merit from the Boy Scouts of America for work as Exploring Advisor for Nursing Post

Her community activities include:

  1. Board of Directors, ARC
  2. Member of AAUW
  3. Volunteer for FISH
  4. Berks County Literary Council
  5. Active Church member
  6. Dale Carnegie Graduate

June contributed much to the welfare of the Nursing Program at Alvernia, Zambia, and to the retired Bernardine Sisters living at St. Joseph Villa in Reading.

Interviewed by Sister M. Alodia Podczasy, October, 1999

Contact Information

The University Archives are located at the 951 Morgantown Offices on the first floor. Please contact Sharon Neal, Library Director to schedule an appointment.


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