HAMLET — Thirteen graduates of the practical nursing program at Richmond Community College exited the Robert L. and Elizabeth S. Cole Auditorium on July 17 with lighted lamps in a symbolic gesture of beginning a journey into a noble profession.
The practical nursing pinning ceremony is the culmination of the yearlong program, which prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination in order to become licensed practical nurses
Dr. Dale McInnis, RCC president, congratulated the graduates on behalf of the college faculty, staff and Board of Trustees.
“I welcome all of the graduates and their family and friends who are excited and proud of their loved one for all that they have achieved to be here tonight,” McInnis said. “I express my congratulations on behalf of the college to these 13 students who have succeeded over the course of the last year and are stepping forward into a new and exciting career.”
Janet Applewhite, a 2005 graduate of RCC’s nursing program and a registered nurse at Scotland Memorial Hospital, was the guest speaker for the pinning ceremony.
“I am very proud to have helped these young ladies in their endeavor to become nurses,” Applewhite said. “We as nurses give patients a sense of comfort and confidence. We as nurses can make a difference in how they feel. This is what being a nurse means to me. My passion is making a difference in people’s lives, and I hope that I have a made difference in these students’ training, and now it is their turn to make a difference.”
Graduates were presented nursing pins by head nursing instructor Carole Gibson and nursing instructor Heather Cox. The graduates were also presented a long stem rose by nursing instructor Judith Thompson.
The practical nursing class of 2014 includes Melisa Dees and Jeneka Luther, both of Hamlet; Cindy Byrd and Edith Sessom, both of Laurel Hill; Janet Davis, Sandra McInnis, Heather Oxendine and Andrea Stubbs, all of Laurinburg; Jasmine Manning of Maxton; Cierra Adcock, and Trudy Davis, Melissa Napier and Senara Teal, all of Rockingham.
Six graduates of the program were presented awards for their achievements:
• Janet Davis received the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Compassionate Caregiver Award, which is presented by FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital to the graduate who best exemplifies the traits of caring, compassion, empathy and family-centered nursing practice.
• Melissa Napier received the Scotland Memorial Hospital Nursing Service Award. Determined by the vote of the nursing director and nurse managers, this award is presented by the hospital to the graduate who demonstrates the best scholastic ability, professionalism, interpersonal relationships and caring attitude.
• Trudy Davis received the Sandhills Regional Medical Center Teamwork Award, which is presented by Sandhills Regional Medical Center to the graduate selected by RCC faculty who consistently demonstrates a high level of cooperation, collaboration and team spirit.
• Cindy Byrd received the Practical Nursing Faculty Award, which is presented to the graduate who has shown a commitment to nursing and education while overcoming personal and academic obstacles.
• Jasmine Graham received the James Edison Sellers Sr. Memorial Nursing Award, which is presented by the family of James Edison Sellers to the graduate who has shown the most care and compassion to cancer patients.
• Jeneka Luther received the RCC Practical Nursing Class of 2012 Award, which is presented by the RCC Practical Nursing Class of 2012 to the graduate who has achieved success in the classroom setting as well as shown exceptional care and compassion in the clinical setting.
• Melissa Napier received the Dr. Diane Honeycutt Practical Nursing Education Academic Excellence Award, which is presented by Honeycutt to the graduate achieving the highest grade-point average in recognition of his or her exceptional effort and academic accomplishments.
Practical nursing Class of 2014 President Trudy Davis thanked family and friends for the love, support and understanding they provided over the past 12 months. She also thanked the nursing instructors for their guidance and assistance. She provided a video tribute to her classmates recounting their time as nursing students.
Practical nursing graduate Janet Davis led the class in reciting the nurse’s pledge, and practical nursing graduate Jeneka Luther gave the benediction at the close of the ceremony.