HAMLET — Richmond Community College held a pinning ceremony Tuesday for 56 Nursing Assistant I and II students for completion of these programs. These students can now take the state certification exam and become certified nursing assistants.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, welcomed everyone to the pinning ceremony, noting that this event marked a turning point in these students’ lives as they prepare to go on to a nursing assistant career or entrance into RichmondCC’s nursing program.
“This is a really important day. It gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation and recognition to our students and faculty,” McInnis said. “This is a milestone in your career, and this is your moment.”
Janet Sims, nursing department chair at RichmondCC, said the Nursing Assistant program is the foundation in nursing, and these students would fulfill vital roles in the medical community.
“We need you in our field; we depend on you; the doctors depend on you; and you are a valued member of our profession. For that, I thank you,” Sims said. “We are proud of our students completing the course, and we look forward to working with them as members of the healthcare team and during their continued academic journey.”
RichmondCC nursing assistant student Nicholas Davis served as a guest speaker for the ceremony. Davis, who was a dental hygienist in the Army for eight years, said it is weird wearing white nursing shoes when just a little over a year ago he was wearing combat boots.
“As I thought about my time before, during and after serving in the Army, one word stood out to me about my experiences: hope,” Davis said. “It has been pure hope that has driven me to keep going every single day with my time in the Army and now as a nursing assistant student.”
Davis said when he got out of the military, he applied for many jobs, but he wasn’t getting any calls back.
“It wasn’t until I walked these steps at RichmondCC and talked to the counselors about starting my journey did I find that the flickering candle of hope to hold onto,” he said.
Also, speaking during the pinning ceremony was Brenda Huffman, who is an instructor for the Nursing Assistant program.
“It has been a long semester, and I am proud of each and every one of you. Today, a pin will be presented to these students as a symbolic welcome to the profession. Soon you will write CNA I or CNA II at the end of your name, and that’s really cool,” Huffman said. “However, the credentials aren’t who you are. Your name is what you are remembered by, along with your actions. When your name is mentioned, let it be associated with kindness, compassion, a little sassiness, humor, hope and love.”
For more information on the Nursing Assistant program, call Program Coordinator Shelia Adams at 910-410-1891 or [email protected]