Nurse Pinning Ceremony Has CSM Professors Welcoming Graduates as Colleagues and Peers

June 2, 2022

Nurse Pinning Ceremony Has CSM Professors Welcoming Graduates as Colleagues and Peers

The College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) 69 nursing candidates for Spring 2022 graduation celebrated their achievements at the La Plata campus May 12 by attending their recognition and pinning ceremony – a time-honored event that has CSM faculty welcoming their students as peers and colleagues in the field of nursing.

Annette Ragland, professor of nursing, served as the mistress of ceremonies for the event and welcomed attendees to the celebration of students’ courage and hard work.

“This event provides an opportunity for us, your faculty, to recognize you and welcome you as our peers and colleagues in nursing,” she said. “Thank you to those in attendance for helping us to recognize the efforts of these individuals in this celebration of their accomplishments.”

Before the students were called to the stage, Chair of Nursing Dr. Sara Cano explained the significance of the pin each nurse would receive. She said that the modern pinning ceremony dates to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, Nightingale in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates and by 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates was standard throughout the United States.

Students received their pins from faculty pinners Morag Dahlstrom, Linda Hamel, Dawn Leukhardt, Catherine McKown, Rose Miller, and Deborah Rutledge. Professor Lynn Kennedy presented the candidates.

'Nursing is an Obligation'

The featured speaker for the event was Brenda Henson, a retired veteran who served with the Army and Air Force for 25 years and now works at the John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. She led the students in a reflection on the Winston Churchill quote, “success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts,” recounting times when she has succeeded and failed throughout her career.

She also encouraged the students to care for one another as they progressed in their careers.

“Nursing is an obligation, not just to yourself but to your team, your coworkers, your family, your patients,” she said. “Look to your left and look to your right. These are the people who are counting on you, and these are the people you will be working with. If you see a nurse struggling, check on your partners, and make sure they’re ok.”

'If you are a good person, you will be a good nurse'

z9m_1176.jpgStudent Kiara West, pictured right, was selected by her classmates to speak on behalf of the graduates.

“Graduating from nursing school is not easy, especially not while juggling the pandemic, jobs, kids, families, and all the other responsibilities we had during this process,” West said. “We have worked extremely hard to get here and I want each and every one of you to bask in this moment because we truly deserve it.”

West kept the audience laughing throughout her speech, offering humorous observations on their nursing school journey and comparing their progression to characters on the television show SpongeBob SquarePants.

“As we become new nurses, we will become SpongeBob SquarePants,” she explained. “We will not run away from new challenges because we are confident in ourselves, and we will adopt a positive mindset that will push us through any obstacle that comes our way.”

West ended her speech on a somber note: speaking through tears, she dedicated her speech to her Nana, who passed away the previous week. She shared that her Nana instilled in her the importance of kindness, generosity, and being a good person, and taught her that how she treats people is the most important thing about her.

“I’m going to extend the same advice to you: you might not be the smartest nurse in the room, or the lead in skills, but ultimately, if you are a good person, you will be a good nurse,” she said. “Nurses are the most trusted profession because we care about people, and we will do everything in our power to help them.”

'This is your moment'

Closing remarks were provided by Jeanne Hill, associate professor of nursing, who said that it was fitting that the students chose “courage” as the theme for their event.

“One of the most important lessons I can give you is to always do what is best for your patient. Whatever it is that is going to have the best outcome for your patient, have the courage to do it. Have the courage to fight for it. There will be times where you will feel defeated or beaten, I promise you that, but I also promise you, that every time, it will be worth it,” she said.

“This is your moment,” she continued. “The one that you have fought hard for these past few years. Every patient you encounter will become a lesson. Embrace those moments, learn from each patient. Take the lessons you learn and give them to your next patient. Do it with pride, confidence, and skill. Most of all…do it with your heart.”

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Students who proudly received their pins are:

MacKenzie Kathleen Barefoot

Theresa Benton

Savannah Michelle Blackwell

Julia Marie Bowie

Erika Thomas Bruce

Alexis Nicole Campbell

Daniel Carter

Arthur Montezuma Carvalho

Jia Choi

Franz Charmaine B. Delk

Kailee Louise Covey

Alyssa Dorsey

Aniya Monae Dudley

Celine Martita Fisher

Kiera Ford

Da'Shonna Alexis Forrester

Whitney Lauren Freed

Cassandra Garren

Taylor Lynn Gascon

Karen Lynnette Goff

NaShay Destiny Green

Jenna Marie Guido

Kelsey Allyson Hanks

Kami M. Hardin

Jessica K. Hayden

Kaitlin M. Hudson

Kathryn Ann Humphreys

Meg Elizabeth Jacko

Chelsea Marie James

Stephanie Renee Josiah

Lesley G. Keller

Alexis R. Klumpyan

Brittany Nicole Latham

Princess Estephanie S. Leyson

Tiffany N. Lyon

Chandler Maldonado

Louie Dave Dionisio Manalad

Ashley Manning

Brianna Alexis Mingo

Leeann K. Murillo

Kaylin S. Navarrete

Sarah Nicole Noble

Shaunte Lorraine Parran

Christian Pavlik

Jamie L Peabody

Jessica Nicole Penn

Laura Page Phillips

Megan N. Picard

Lisa Marie Schwallenberg

Melissa  Joyce Shipman

Andrew L. Sien

Savannah Ashlyn Simmons

Emiliann Carmela Simpson

Janna-Beth Willaum Smith

Sarah E. Steele

Natalie Marie Sulhoff

Alexis Nichole Tiede

Karla Lou Lucero Ugalino

Natosha Nicole Vallandingham

Amber N. Vaughn

Hannah Elizabeth Walker

MaryGrace Weeks

Kiara West

Shellayne Denise Whalen

Gabrielle Michel White

Michelle Widle

Myka Angelica Asuma Wilkins

Tara A. Wilson

Breanna M. Windsor
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