The Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College held a Pinning Ceremony for the graduating Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Class of 2019 on May 8 at Ridgeland High School. Twenty-eight students graduated from the program.
Graduates included: Crystal Anderson, Ashley Nicole Ashley, Emily Baldwin, Brooke Boteler, Gabriel Bridgeman, Kaylee Butts, Madison Clausel, Soma Dhar, Rebecca Dickard, Aliesha Hudson, Natasha Hudson, Brittany Jones, Samuel Jones, Jessica Knott, Kristen Lee, Katherine Middleton, Madalyn Morris, Aqila Moses, Kelsey Oswalt, Stephanie Paul, Veronica Rivers, Crystel Sayles, Alice Shelton, Kelsey Smith, Shelby Smith, Tori Sprowles, Alexis Topik and Kaitlyn Westcott.
The ceremony began with a processional of the ADN Class of 2019. Dr. Don Burnham, vice president of the Ridgeland Campus, 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 welcome, Kelsey Smith, class vice president, gave the opening prayer.
Next, 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 Gabriel Bridgeman.
Rosalyn Howard of Mississippi Nurses Foundation also presented Kelsey Smith with the Mississippi School of Nursing Scholarship from the Foundation. Following Howard's presentation, six students were recognized for receiving Mississippi Board of Nursing scholarships worth $1000. Recipients included Kaylee Butts, Madison Clausel, Samuel Jones, Kristen Lee, Katherine Middleton and Madalyn Morris.
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 Dr. Tiffany Cox and Virginia Pearson. The ceremony concluded with the students reciting the Nightingale Pledge, led by instructor Cindy Bridges, and Stephanie Paul, class president, 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.