Students from the Practical Nursing program at Richmond Community College received their nursing school pins during a solemn ceremony held Monday night at the RCC Cole Auditorium. The 13 graduates are now eligible to take the state exam to become licensed practical nurses.
Following a welcome by RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis, keynote speaker Selena Brayboy, R.N., the lead nurse for Outpatient Surgery at Scotland Memorial Hospital, provided the keynote speech.
“There is nothing like being a nurse. Those golden moments spent with patients and their families are not experienced by other health care providers. When the challenges seem endless, remember the rewards are priceless,” said Brayboy.
She shared her personal testimony of how God has guided her path. She entered RCC 12 years ago as an unemployed wife and mother. Her family was able to afford to live on her husband’s salary while she attended college. She considers nursing school to have been a blessing. Because her faith and family are so important to her, she knows God led her to a job she loves with hours that allow her to be with her family and worship regularly.
“I know you have received the best instruction and are ready to take what you have learned and go out into the world. Go. Grow. And, do it all with compassion,” she said.
RCC Health Science Division Chair Carole Gibson called out graduate’s names as Practical Nursing Instructor Kay Privette pinned each graduate. Graduates are
Barbara Collins Brigman and Sarah Lindsey Polson Bennettsville; Camillia Julois Nunn of Ellerbe; Shonda Shanise Crump and Amanda Huggins Steen of Hamlet; Debbie Worth Green, Ashley Locklear Strickland, and Rachel Reed Morrison Laurinburg; Nikki Maynor Martinez of Maxton; Shanieka Antoinette Davis, Sheryl Sellers Davis, and Catherine Lynn Gardner Rockingham; and Jessica Lynn Locklear of Rowland.
Privette and Practical Nursing Instructor Catherine Allen presented awards to several students for exceptional performance.
The Dr. Diane Honeycutt Practical Nursing Education Academic Excellence Award was presented to Camilla Nunn, who graduated magna cum laude. She also received the Scotland Memorial Hospital Nursing Service Award.
The FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Compassionate Caregiver Award was presented Nikki Martinez.
The Sandhills Regional Medical Center Teamwork Award was presented to Catherine Gardner.
The Practical Nursing Faculty Award was presented to Ashley Locklear Strickland.
Practical Nursing Class President Shanieka Davis spoke on behalf of the students and thanked family and friends for their support for the graduates when they were too tired to cook, clean, or spend time with them.
“We are not just women any longer, we are nurses. We no longer talk in layman’s term, but in medial terms. We have learned how to deal with personal and family problems and pushed forward. We have developed enduring friendships that will last a lifetime. Wherever life leads us, we will make a difference in our patients’ lives. Congratulation, we’ve made it!” said Davis.
Practical Nursing Class Treasurer Amanda Steen led the graduates in the Nurse’s Pledge before they lit their nursing lamps and made their way out of the auditorium.