The Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College held a Pinning Ceremony for the graduating Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Class of 2018 on May 9 at Ridgeland High School. Twenty-nine students graduated from the program. Graduates included Eryn Armagost, Jessica Bodry, Caitlin Cox, Morgan Daniels, Tina Davis, Cindy Demars, Haley Duddleston, Mesha Fleming, Lydia Glaspie, Andrea Goodwin, Jennifer Gore, Lauren Graham, Alejandro Hernandez, Rachel Hill, Madeline Holiman, Renata Hughes, Cleopatra Lamb, Kayla McKenzie, Jennifer McPhail, Tiera Minor, Micah Myers, Amy New, Olivia Neiburg, Dorian Patterson, Natalie Phelan, Jessica Reeves, Erica Smith, William A. Stringer and Douglas Wray.
The ceremony began with a processional of the ADN Class of 2018. Dr. Don Burnham, vice president of the Ridgeland Campus, gave an opening prayer welcomed the crowd and graduates.
"First off, I would like to recognize all the family members, friends and loved ones who supported these students through this journey," Dr. Burnham said. "This is the hardest program offered at Holmes Community College. I want to challenge the graduates to always keep your integrity. You may have to make decisions that not everyone agrees with, so guard your integrity 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 keep in touch with us, and feel free to contact me or any of the other instructors if you ever need anything in the future. Finally, may God bless each of you, and may you never forget to keep Him in the center of all that you do. Congratulations!"
Following Dr. Burnham's address, 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, ADN Assistant Director Dr. Alice Austin presented the Student Achievement Award to Dorian Patterson.
"Dorian never complained about one single thing she was asked to do in nursing school even though she was probably exhausted from working while going to school," Dr. Austin said. "She will be a great, caring nurse."
Dr. Austin also recognized two students who received the Mississippi Board of Nursing Scholarships. Those students were Cindy Demars and Natarsha Barnes.
After the awards were given, Dr. Austin presented Director of Nursing Dr. LaWanda Herron with flowers in honor of her retirement following the 2017-2018 school year.
Following these recognitions, students were called to the stage one-by-one to receive their pins from ADN instructor Dr. Tiffany Cox and their lamps from ADN instructor Kim Sandifer. The ceremony concluded with the students reciting the Nightingale Pledge, led by ADN instructor Cindy Bridges and class officer Dorian Patterson giving the closing prayer.
For more information about the ADN program on the Ridgeland Campus, contact Dr. Austin at (601) 605-3419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured is the Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) graduating class of 2018 with their instructors.