HAMLET — Twenty-eight nursing students of Richmond Community College were officially pinned during the college’s Associates Degree Nursing commencement exercises May 11 at the Cole Auditorium.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, welcomed everyone to the annual pinning ceremony that celebrates a turning point in these students’ lives as they prepare to go into the nursing profession.
“It’s been a long journey and we’re very proud of you. This is a key event you’ll cherish forever,” he said.
McInnis also recognized the family and friends of the students who supported them while they were in college, as well as recognized the nursing faculty. He also acknowledged the long careers of several retiring nursing faculty and staff members, Nursing Department Chair Carole Gibson, instructor Linda King and administrative assistance Penny Jacobs.
Gibson was the guest speaker for the pinning ceremony, explaining to these students the importance of compassionate nursing and offering tips on how to survive their first year as a registered nurse.
“I want to discuss the need to balance the science with the art of nursing. I believe that unless the art of nursing is recognized as necessary to quality healthcare, we may be producing good technicians, but not necessarily good nurses,” Gibson said.
Gibson said compassionate care is essential to the practice of nursing, and studies have shown that compassionate nursing care produces better client outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. She quoted another study, however, that indicated nursing students enter the profession having high levels of compassion for others, while as the clinical exposure increases, the compassion declines.
“In an increasingly complex and technology laden healthcare environment, students can become so focused on the science and technology of nursing, that there is neglect for what drew you into the profession in the first place,” she said.
Gibson also said their first year would be filled with a tremendous amount of on-the-job training as they transition from the academic setting to real world demands.
“As you move from this academic environment and begin your new role as an RN, the stress will decrease, the use of evidence-based practice to support quality and safe practice will improve, communication will improve, and feelings of competency will occur with time, learning and experience,” Gibson said. “Don’t give up! Stick with it as you have done in this program. Find the balance of the science and art of nursing and recognize the power you have to positively impact the domain that makes nursing uniquely different from other healthcare disciplines.”
Also speaking during the pinning ceremony was ADN Class of 2017 President Rose Hunt.
“To my classmates, I challenge you to embrace the future with open arms. The future belongs to those who truly believe in their dreams, and today, we have made those dreams a reality,” Hunt said. “We are armed with the education, the support of our friends and family, and the ambition to materialize our dreams. Let this be the stepping stone for each one of us on our journey.”
Ten awards were presented to students in the class.
• Havanna Holfert received the Golden Stethoscope Award, presented by Sandhills Regional Medical Center to the graduate who has demonstrated special interest and skill in the ICU/ER.
• Jennifer Horne received the Hamlet Hospital Alumni Award, presented by Hamlet Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association in honor of Dr. William Daniel James to the graduate who has shown proficiency in nursing, high professional standards, scholastic achievement, love for humanity, and participation in student activities.
• Caren Holland received the Mental Health Nursing Award, presented by Lloyd and Mary Louise King to the graduate who has demonstrated exceptional skills in promoting emotional, psychological, and social wellness to clients across the lifespan.
• Heather Dunn received the Pediatric Award, presented by the Lillian Duer James family in honor of Dr. William Daniel James to the graduate who has maintained and demonstrated a superior ability in nursing of children.
• Christy Gause 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 best meets the criteria of scholastic ability, professionalism, interpersonal relationships and caring attitude.
• Kierrah Patrick received the Scotland Memorial Hospital Administration Award. Determined by the vote of the nursing director and nurse managers and with the approval of the hospital administrator, this award is presented by the hospital administration to the graduate who is most dedicated to caring.
• Taylor Bantugan and Natasja Ford received the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Professional Nursing Awards. Determined by faculty recommendation to the graduates who best demonstrate the following characteristics in his or her nursing practice: patient-centered/family-centered approach to care, patient advocate, evidence-based practice, and collaboration with other health care team members and disciplines.
• Brittani Hodges received the Joseph W. Grimsley Humanitarian Award, presented by RichmondCC nursing faculty to the graduate who has consistently demonstrated warmth, caring, and love for mankind in all his/her relationships and associations.
• Caren Holland received the Scholastic Achievement Award, presented by the Lillian Duer James family in honor of Lillian Duer James to the graduate who has maintained the highest grade point average in the nursing curriculum.
Associate Degree Nursing Class of 2017
• Jennifer Horne of Bennettsville
• Christy Gause of Cheraw
• Whitney Harper of Gibson
• Lila Banks of Hamlet
• Taylor Bantugan of Hamlet
• Brittani Hodges of Hamlet
• Hannah R. McLean of Hamlet
• Jennifer Morton of Hamlet
• Christine Perakis of Hamlet
• Kayla Rushing of Hamlet
• Caren Holland of Laurel Hill
• Kierrah Patrick of Laurel Hill
• Havanna Holfert of Laurinburg
• Heather Forte Oxendine of Laurinburg
• Jennifer Wellman of Laurinburg
• Hannah Yarbrough of Laurinburg
• Mallory Cobler of Rockingham
• Brittany Dean of Rockingham
• Heather Dunn of Rockingham
• Tiffany Elvis of Rockingham
• Natasja Ford of Rockingham
• Robert Goodwin of Rockingham
• Effie Leak of Rockingham
• Brittanie Lockey of Rockingham
• Natalie Watts of Rockingham
• Rose Hunt of Rowland
• April Jane Branch of Shannon
• Naja Fair of Wadesboro
Wylie D. Bell is director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.