Ridgeland Campus honors associate degree nursing students

Pictured is the 2016 Ridgeland Campus Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) graduating class with their instructors.

The Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College held a Pinning Ceremony for the graduating Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Class of 2016 on May 11 at Ridgeland High School. A total of 20 students were honored.

Graduates included Keyera P. Ammons of Hinds County, Veronica Burrage of Scott County, Jennifer Hume Cook of Madison County, Christopher “Acey” Day of Yazoo County, Adrienne M. Dunbar of Madison, Allison Eads Dungan of Madison, Juanita Ewing of Madison, Brianna D. Foster of Rankin County, Kiswanna L. Gamble of Holmes County, Madison Harkins of Madison, Perry S. Landis of Madison, Emily L. Lum of Madison, Juanita D. McDonald of Hinds, Morrison “Marty” Moss of Rankin, Janet L. Ricks of Scott, Cassandra S. Sojourner of Hinds, Clifton Strong of Hinds, Antoinette Walker of Hinds, Shamiar S. Williams of Hinds, and Hilary Brown Winters of Madison.

The ceremony began with a processional of the ADN Class of 2016. Dr. Don Burnham, vice president of the Ridgeland Campus, welcomed the crowd and addressed the graduates.

“This is the hardest program offered at Holmes Community College,” Dr. Burnham said. “It should be the hardest, because people’s lives and well-being will one day rest in your hands. I know I personally want to make sure that these students knows what they’re doing if they end up taking care of me in a hospital one day! My advice is this: Number one, guard your integrity. Guard it with everything you’ve got. Secondly, remember that Holmes Community College will always be a part of you, and you will always be a part of Holmes. Please feel free to contact me or any of the other instructors if you need anything in the future. We will always try to assist you in your career. Finally, may God bless each of you, and may you never forget to give Him the glory and keep Him in the center of all that you do. Congratulations!”

Following Dr. Burnham’s address, ADN student Brianna Foster, class secretary, gave the opening prayer before ADN Instructor Barbara Puryear explained the symbolism behind the white uniforms, the lamp-shaped candles, and the pinning ceremony. Puryear explained that everything originated from the actions of Florence Nightingale, the historical nurse who laid the foundation for professional nursing while training nurses during the Crimean War.

“The nursing uniforms were intended to set nurses apart from others helping during the war,” Puryear said. “Originally, they were a dark charcoal color, but later changed to white to represent sterility and cleanliness. Although nursing uniforms today come in a variety of colors, white continues to be a symbol for caring, hygiene and comfort.

“The lamp came from Nightingale’s nickname, “The Lady with the Lamp,” which she earned from making rounds to check on wounded soldiers at night. Today, the lamp symbolizes the professional commitment nurses make to uphold high moral standards and a strong work ethic.

“Finally, the pinning ritual began when Nightingale - after being honored with the Red Cross of St. John for her tireless efforts helping wounded soldiers - followed suit and presented a medal of excellence to her top nursing graduates.

Succeeding Puryear’s speech, Keyera Ammons, ADN class president, presented the Faculty of the Year Award to Pamela McCollum. ADN Assistant Director Alice Austin approached the podium next to award the Student Achievement Award to Antoinette Walker.

After the awards were given, ADN Instructor Kim Sandifer called the students to the stage one-by-one to receive their pins and lamps from ADN instructors Tiffany Cox and Pam McCollum. ADN instructor Cindy Bridges then led the new graduates in reciting the Nightingale Pledge before Marty Moss, class vice president, concluded the ceremony with a prayer.

For more information about the ADN program on the Ridgeland Campus, contact Alice Austin at (601) 605-3419 or aaustin@holmescc.edu.