Recently, 21 students in the Practical Nursing program at Ogeechee Technical College received their pins in an annual pinning ceremony held in the Joseph E. Kennedy Auditorium.
During the ceremony, Britany Blackburn, pin recipient and keynote speaker, gave some thoughts on how the pandemic may have altered the way in which they learned, but did not ultimately prevent them from achieving their goals.
“With the pandemic, we weren’t sure if we would graduate on time, or complete our clinicals on time, but our instructors made sure the answer was always a resounding ‘yes’,” said Blackburn. “We have been taught by the best, to be the best, and now we can go out into the world and do our best.”
Nearly 100 people viewed the ceremony via a Facebook live broadcast provided to allow friends and family to participate from a distance. Extra precautions were taken during the ceremony to protect the students in the auditorium including, requiring masks, staggering seating to adhere to social distancing guidelines, and calling names in a delayed manner to limit the amount of people on stage at one time.
“I’m incredibly proud of all of our graduates who have worked incredibly hard to get to this point,” said Jackie Howard, Practical Nursing instructor. “The pinning ceremony carries special significance since it signifies their official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses.”
The 21 students who received their pins were: Heather Aldrich, Tara Bell, Britany Blackburn, Lauren Bragg, McKinley Brannen, Morgan Cunningham, Mariana Fulmer, Richandra Harden, Brittany Hughes, Chelsey Marks, Christy McCumbers, Abbigale Miller, Daniela Molina Abarca, Sarah Newton, Megan Ryder, Zemekia Thompson, Amy Waters, Beth Welden, Cheyenna Williams, Katie Wilson, and Rodeisha Woods.
The ceremony lasted about an hour and included a keynote address, the presentation of pins, a candle lighting ceremony, and the reciting of the Nightingale Pledge.
The mission of the Ogeechee Technical College Practical Nursing Program is to provide quality nursing education to prepare competent, compassionate, and safe nurses that provide high-quality patient-centered care in collaboration with the healthcare team in a global setting.
In harmony with the college’s mission, the purpose of the nursing program is to provide a supportive learning environment which encourages community service, personal growth, and continuing education.