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Nursing Graduates Honored at 2018 Pinning Ceremony
Seated nursing graduates in white coats applaud during a nursing pinning ceremony in the Collins Arena.

Following years of hard work, dozens of exams and thousands of hours of clinical training in local health care facilities, 87 graduates of Brookdale’s Nursing Program received some well-deserved recognition on Feb. 5 during the Fall 2018 Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

The ceremony, held in the Collins Arena, offered graduates the opportunity to reflect on their experiences in one of Brookdale’s most demanding courses of study and receive official Brookdale nursing pins in front of a capacity crowd of family, friends, faculty and staff.

“We have endured so much together,” said graduate Amy Brennan, who opened the ceremony with a welcome address. “We have cried, we have laughed, we have cried some more, but, most of all, we have pushed one another every day to be better. We have fought hard to be here and, yes, we deserve to be sitting here tonight not as students, but as nurses. Congratulations to you all.”

Addressing the graduating class, interim Brookdale President David Stout remarked on the selflessness and dedication required to complete the college’s rigorous nursing program, which stands today as one of the best in the nation.

“This pinning ceremony happens to be one of my favorite events, because we have the opportunity to honor you for dedicating your lives to the noblest profession of all,” said Stout. “Thank you for healing us; thank you for the impact that you have on your community. For your hard work, for your perseverance, for your selflessness, you make Brookdale proud.”

The ceremony also featured addresses by Health Sciences Institute Dean Jayne Edman, who described the nearly 1,000-year history of nursing pins and the unifying significance of the graduates’ custom-designed Brookdale pin, and assistant nursing Professor Diane Booker, who was selected by the graduating class to serve as keynote speaker.

A female nursing graduate attaches a ceremonial nursing pin to another female student's white jacket in the Collins Arena.

Nursing graduate Allison Sutton (right) receives her official Brookdale nursing pin on Feb. 5.

“Nursing is a beautiful career that has many options and career paths, so let that journey take you new places, open new doors, and allow yourself to grow as a person and professional,” said Booker.

“Congratulations to each and every one of you, and thank you for allowing me to speak here tonight. And, more importantly, thank you for allowing me to be your teacher and a part of your journey. Welcome to the profession.”

To a roar of cheers from the crowd, the graduates then stepped to the podium one by one to affix an official Brookdale nursing pin to the lapel of one of their classmates.

Edman and Brookdale Nursing Director Mary Ehret also recognized three students who were inducted into the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Chapter, for maintaining a 3.0 GPA and completing public health community service projects for local students, community members and nonprofit organizations.

The ceremony concluded with farewell addresses by nursing graduates Vincenza Rego and Ashley Flannelly, each of whom overcame unique challenges and struggles in pursuit of their professional dream.

“As I think about all the sacrifices we have had to make, what I take the most pride in is that my daughter will know that, as she grows up, with hard work and some sacrifice we can make any dream come true,” said Flannelly. “This program has been challenging, but it taught us a lot about ourselves and each other.

“By now we have learned it’s OK to ask questions,” added Flannelly. “It’s OK to not know 100 percent of everything. Every day is an opportunity for us to learn and grow, whether we start work right away or go on to a BSN program. As we all begin this new journey, I urge all of us to never lose that passion we have for caring for others. I wish all of you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”

View the full list of graduates and honorees here.

Learn more about the Brookdale Nursing Program here

Check out more photos of the Fall 2018 Nursing Pinning Ceremony here. View Brookdale Television’s video of the 2018 Nursing Pinning Ceremony here.