Eighteen Practical Nursing graduates from Richmond Community College’s Lillian Duer James School of Nursing celebrated the completion of a year of study and clinical experiences during commencement ceremonies held at the Cole Auditorium on Thursday night.
Vice President for Instruction Johnnie Simpson welcomed the third graduating class of the Practical Nursing program and thanked the medical community for supporting the program by providing clinical sites. She included RCC President Emeritus Dr. Diane Honeycutt among the supporters making the comeback of the program possible.
“This is a demanding program. You have studied hard and are ready to be called the Licensed Practical Nurses you are ready to become. You have sacrificed, as have your friends and families. Tonight’s celebration belongs to all,” said Simpson.
The graduates took this time to face the audience and give their supporters a standing ovation.
Cynthia Dial, RN, BSN with Scotland Memorial Hospital Women’s Services was the keynote speaker. She compared becoming a nurse to joining a new family. For her, joining Scotland Memorial Hospital has been a wonderful relationship. She has seen different people in the roles of parents, siblings and extended family. She also respects the wisdom she has gained from those who have gone before her.
She stressed the importance of “practical” in the nursing profession. The importance of always being willing to help, of being kind, and of respecting others was a key element of her message.
“Your day of success will come when someone says, ‘I want to work with her,’” she said.
Practical Nursing Instructor Kay Privette, RN, BSN and Department Chair Carole Gibson, RN, MSN presented the graduates their nursing school pins. Instructor Catherine Allen, RN, BSN presented each student a long stemmed red rose.
The Practical Nursing graduates are: Shelia Munn Boone, Brenda Lewis Ervin, Jessica Lee Greene, Lisa Ellerbee Harrington, Kasey Allison Jenkins, Tammy Lee Leviner, Amanda Sue Rankin, Hannah Jeannette Reynolds, Teri Brown Stoner, and Monique Gibson Willard of Rockingham; Sara Von Graham of Hamlet; Kellee Dunn Greene of Ellerbe; Birgit Koenig-Gould of Laurinburg; Jennifer Lynn Locklear and Cynthia Reynolds Patterson of Laurel Hill; Tammy Monique Moore of Raeford; Laurel Suzanne Morrison of Wagram; and Daisey Mae Singletary of Red Springs.
Several students were recognized for academic honors. The Dr. Diane Honeycutt Practical Nursing Education Academic Excellence Award for the highest grade point average went to Teri Stoner. The FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Compassionate Caregiver Award went to Monique Willard. The Scotland Memorial Hospital Nursing Service went to Amanda Rankin. Sandhills Regional Medical Center Teamwork Award went to Tammy Leviner. The RCC Practical Nursing Faculty Award went to Laurel Morrison.
Class President Brenda Ervin and Vice President Sara Graham paid tribute to their friends, family and instructors. Class Secretary Jennifer Locklear led the group in receiving the Nurse’s Pledge.
In honor of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing who made her rounds by candlelight, Privette and Allen lit the symbolic lamps of each student before they left the stage and prepared to embark upon their new professions.