For nearly 70 Brookdale students and their families, 2017 promises to be an eventful year. Following years of study, clinical practice and more than a few long nights and early mornings, the students officially graduated from the Brookdale nursing program on Jan. 3, moving one step closer to the career of their dreams.
In front of a packed crowd of friends, family, faculty and classmates in the Collins Arena, the students came together to receive their official Brookdale nursing pins, which have been issued to each graduate of the program since 1971.
The ceremony held special significance for welcome speaker Brianne Pomponio, who followed her mother (2014) and grandmother (1976) as a third-generation graduate of the Brookdale nursing program.
“I feel such an enormous sense of pride having them both in attendance tonight, watching me being pinned with the very same pin that they both used for their ceremonies,” said Pomponio. “Their support – all of our families’ support – was imperative to our success, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of our entire graduating class by saying, we are exceedingly grateful for it.”
The graduates were congratulated by a wide range of faculty and college administrators, including Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy, Health Sciences Institute Dean Jayne Edman, Nursing Director Mary Ehret and assistant nursing Professor Helen Heinmets, who was selected by the graduating class to serve as honorary guest speaker for the evening.
Heinmets joined her colleagues in recognizing the graduates for completing one of the most demanding courses offered at the college, and for dedicating themselves to the pursuit of helping others. She also gave out some practical professional advice, encouraging the new nurses to make the most of their young careers.
“Don’t be afraid to follow your career to unexpected places,” Heinmets said. “I have never once regretted my decision to become a nurse, and I hope that is true also for you.”
The evening also featured moving testimonials by graduates Crislaine Anderson and Jamie Schaale, who remarked on their long journey through the nursing program together.
“We are about to embark on our scariest endeavor yet,” Schaale said. “Life as we know it will change. But we have been preparing for this moment since the day we walked into Bonnie Ross’s class… I know we will prevail, because I have seen the determination and the perseverance in all of us.”
In addition to the nursing pins, eight graduates also received honorary pins for serving as members of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society, Alpha Sigma chapter.
The ceremony was emceed by Student Nurse Association vice president Edward Dolphin III, with the Pledge of Allegiance led by graduate Pavel Smirnov. Click here to view the full list of Fall 2016 nursing graduates.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of you,” said Murphy, addressing the graduating class. “You have chosen to do something important with your lives, and in this world today we need people who are making those choices, choosing to make this world a better place for other people. I am grateful to you for that.”
Check out more photos of the Pinning Ceremony here.
Learn more about the Brookdale Nursing Program here.