Fifty-two nursing students received their nurse’s pin on Monday, January 6 during the Nursing Pinning Ceremony for members of the Fall 2013 graduating class. The ceremony marked the culmination of years of study, hard work, and enduring commitment by each of the graduates and celebrated the successful completion of a “rigorous and challenging program,” said Jayne Edman, dean of Science and Health Sciences.
“We have made demands on your time, your intellect and your emotions. You have impressed every single one of us here tonight with your hard work, perseverance and dedication,” Edman said during her remarks to the graduates.
Family and friends of the graduates and members of Brookdale’s faculty and staff filled the bleachers in the Brookdale Recreation and Events Center to support the students.
Dr. Maureen Murphy congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Brookdale community, “we are so very proud of you,” she said. “It takes a whole village to raise a nurse.”
Murphy’s statement rang true during the ceremony as each of the student speakers recalled the support of faculty, fellow students and family members who helped them achieve their educational goals.
In her welcome address to fellow graduates, student speaker Reia Cusumano said, “In addition to reaching our individual goals, there have been strong bonds made among us, and incredible faculty members who went above and beyond and had only our best interest at heart. I know personally, without the support and help of my fellow students and nursing friends, I may not be standing here before you tonight.
“The true mettle of who we are began to emerge because this experience had a way of helping us look deep within ourselves to find strength and abilities some of us never realized we had. It gave us the courage to meet challenges we never thought we’d overcome and achieve goals we only dreamed of reaching,” Cusumano said.
Graduates of Brookdale’s nursing program are prepared to care for patients in a variety of situations. “The world of nursing is open for you to explore,” Pamela Anania, nursing learning assistant, told graduates in her keynote address. “Nurses can be found in hospitals, clinics and homes — in the air as flight nurses, in the military, on ships and in schools. Nurses can explore various fields of practice in emergency rooms, operating rooms, ICU, labor and delivery, hospice, rehabilitation, forensics, advanced practice and so much more,” she said.
Director of Nursing Mary Ehert presented the pins to the graduates and pinned the first student, Mary Alar-Hogger. Then, each student pinned the next student, a demonstration of “the cohesiveness that is indicative of each group of nursing students who are united in their goal to provide extraordinary patient care,” Edman said.
Graduate Lindsey Smith provided the class oration. “It has been quite the journey, and one which I have been fortunate enough to make alongside some of the most extraordinary men and women,” she said. “I thank God every day for the path I have chosen and the direction my life has taken. There were times throughout this selfless experience and period of soul searching where I believed it was actually nursing that chose me. Being a nurse is more than a job; it is a way of life that forever changes you and your heart.”
The evening concluded with a farewell address from graduate Sharon Chidwick. “I am very proud to stand here with all of you and notice how far we have come. We have learned and done things that seemed impossible a little over two years ago, even a few things we wish we didn’t learn. We have become more efficient and reliable. We have seen each other at our best and our worst. We have learned the meaning of empathy. We have formed friendships and memories to last a lifetime,” she said.