DENMARK — Denmark Technical College’s nursing students attended their pinning ceremony on July 9 in the William L. McDuffie Student Services Center. Teneane Foster, dean of Nursing, presided at the event.
Dr. Christopher Hall, interim president, provided the welcome, Practical Nursing student Holly Tucker gave the invocation and the Practical Nursing class president Jennifer Cromer gave the address. Cromer thanked Dean Foster and nursing instructor Angie Hall for their inspiration and for “holding us to the highest standards of excellence to make sure we reached our full potential.”
Awards were given to two students. Vivian Maynard received both the “All Around Student” and “Academic Excellence Award” and Taryn Robinson was given the “Outstanding Clinical Performance Award.”
Angie Hall introduced the keynote speaker Tiffany Griffin. Griffin is a registered nurse with Anchor Rehabilitation and Health Care Center who is passionate about inspiring and educating nurses to provide compassionate competency based care. She holds a master’s degree in Nursing Education.
In the keynote address, Griffin spoke candidly with the graduates about the field of nursing, telling them to set their goals high and “keep the momentum going, you are capable of doing great things based on what you have accomplished today. When things get difficult remember, I can do this.” She also spoke about the long, hard hours that lay ahead in their profession and challenged them to never lose the “excitement you feel today” and to always do the “best you can to your capability.”
In the ceremony, the students received a pin, a lit lamp and a bible provided by The Gideon’s International before reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge. Afterward, they enjoyed refreshments and hugs from their many attending family members.
Denmark Technical College has celebrated the graduation of its nursing students with a pinning ceremony for over a decade. The tradition of the nursing pin and the ceremonial pinning began in the 1860s at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Having been recently awarded the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying in the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale chose to extend the honor to her most outstanding graduate nurses by presenting them each with a medal of excellence. Denmark Technical College uses the Pinning Ceremony to mark the passage from the student role to the practice role.
As the graduates of the nursing class of 2019 leave the comfort of the classroom to face unknown challenges ahead, perhaps Cromer said it best in her speech. “No class can teach you how to cry with a patient, no class can teach you how to tell someone that their loved one has died. No professor can teach you how to find dignity in a bed bath. Being a nurse isn’t about pills and IV’s and documenting. It’s about being able to love people where they are, at whatever state they’re in, regardless of who they are. No one can make us nurses. We just ARE!” (Read the entire speech here, part 1, part 2)
Practical Nursing graduates are Conesha Creech, Jennifer Cromer, Gina Gaston, Jessica Hutto, Vivian Maynard, Ashton Morris, Kwadeja Odom, Oshea Owens, Taryn Robinson, Lauren Robinson-Taylor, Constance Thomas and Holly Tucker. Nurse Aide Assistant graduates are Shantasia Allen, Tynesha Garrick, Landrea Morris, Shidiria Ross and Barbreya Young.