Nearly 60 Brookdale nursing graduates received their ceremonial nursing pins on May 18 during an official ceremony in the Collins Arena.
Surrounded by a large crowd of friends and family members, the graduates capped off two years of hard work and sleepless nights with a well deserved moment of celebration.
Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy began her address by identifying the wide range of area dignitaries who attended the ceremony, including nursing Director Mary Ehret, dean of science and health science Jayne Edman, Monmouth County Freeholder Serena DiMaso and Brookdale Board of Trustees member Tracey Abby-White, whose daughter Brittany was also a member of the graduating class.
“That’s how important you are to all of us,” Murphy said. “Your success is our success as a college. You have completed our most rigorous course of study, and you have worked hard and relied on each other. We could not be more proud to wish you congratulations tonight.”
Student speaker Melissa Kerr spoke bluntly about the demanding nature of the program, and expressed her appreciation for the network of professors, staff, family and friends that had helped the class of 2015 see it through to the end.
“It really does take a village,” she said. “And as scary as it may feel, we have now branched out from our village a determined, strong and very bright group of registered nurses … This pinning ceremony is not the end, but merely the end of the beginning.”
Edman described the history of the pinning ceremony, which dates back nearly 1,000 years to the Maltese crosses worn by medical volunteers during the Crusades. Today, nursing pins serve to unite graduates as they go off to four-year universities and careers in the health care industry.
“Although we expect that you will continue your formal education, the pin will remind you of your educational roots, and how much you have gained from your time at Brookdale,” she said. “Always be proud of receiving your associate’s degree here.”
Those sentiments were echoed by nursing professional and Brookdale Professor Nancy Lenaghan, who was chosen by the class as this year’s guest speaker. Lenaghan also gave the graduates some words of wisdom for the future, encouraging to take full advantage of the training they received at Brookdale.
“You are about to reap the rewards of one of the best choices in your life: your decision to enter the Brookdale nursing program,” she said, adding that the program is a designated Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing. “Your knowledge and skills will be in very high demand … No matter what road you travel, always be proud to say that your career began at Brookdale.”
The graduating class featured 57 nursing students, including 10 who were selected as members of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Chapter. Five graduates had also joined the program as advanced placement students, after completing a challenge course designed for licensed practical nurses seeking to become registered professional nurses. View the full list of graduates and Pinning Ceremony speakers here.
Learn more about Brookdale’s nursing program here.
Check out more photos of the pinning ceremony here.