HAMLET – Thirty nursing students of Richmond Community College were officially pinned during the college’s Associates Degree Nursing 39th annual commencement exercise last week.
Dr. Dale McInnis, RCC president, praised the students for their hardwork and perseverance in “the rigorous program.” He also recognized the family and friends of the students who supported them while they were in college.
“It’s a challenging, arduous process to make a nurse,” McInnis said. “We started off with a lot more students in this class. These are the ones who made the journey to its end. Now they begin another journey. They begin the journey of providing the exceptional care and compassion we have prepared them to deliver.”
Dr. Ernest J. Grant, vice president of the American Nurses Association with more than 30 years of nursing and leadership experience, served as the guest speaker for the pinning ceremony. He talked about the true meaning of caring as it relates to the nursing profession.
“The importance of caring as a nurse is one of the essential tools you will use and possess throughout your professional career,” Grant said. “Caring will be expressed by you in so many ways, and how you express that care will determine the trust, the confidence and the partnership you will establish with those whom you care for and their families. Remember as a nurse, you will most likely be encountering individuals when they are most vulnerable.”
Grant explained how as nurses, their patients would be sharing things with them that maybe no one else knows, not even their spouses. He encouraged the graduating class of nurses to remember they are only “guests” in a patient’s life for a short period of time, so they must be trustworthy.
“They don’t know you, but they will put their trust in you. I don’t know of any other profession that could elicit such an influence over someone,” he said.
He also said a caring nurse will make the effort to really understand his or her patient, recognizing that individual’s cultural differences, fears and ailments.
“As a nurse, you will serve as the patient’s advocate,” Grant said. “You may be the only thing that stands between a patient’s understanding and agreeing to the plan of care or having to insist that members of the healthcare team listen to the patient’s concerns and provide a plan that’s inclusive of the patient’s wishes.
“After all, it is what the patient wants that counts in the end. Whether we agree or disagree, the importance of caring means that you respect the wishes of the individual and not impose your beliefs or anyone else’s to that situation,” Grant added.
Also speaking during the pinning ceremony was ADN Class of 2016 President Brandy Stutts, who recognized the outstanding nursing instructors who helped them achieve their goals.
“We learned from some of the best healthcare educators of our time,” Stutts said. “Although they did not make our journey easy, they did not withhold the important lessons we needed to learn. They pushed us when we wanted to give up and listened to us when we said, ‘I can’t do this.’ They were always there for us and for that we thank you.”
Thirteen awards were presented to students in the class.
— Jessie Molina of Laurel Hill received the Joseph W. Grimsley Humanitarian Award, presented by RCC Nursing Faculty to the graduate who has consistently demonstrated warmth, caring, and love for mankind in all his/her relationships and associations.
— Tyler Wood of Maxton received the Scotland Memorial Hospital Nursing Service Award, determined by the vote of the nursing director and nurse managers, this award is presented by the hospital to the graduate who best meets the criteria of scholastic ability, professionalism, interpersonal relationships and caring attitude.
— Rosanna Smith of Laurinburg received the Golden Stethoscope Award, presented by Sandhills Regional Medical Center to the graduate who has demonstrated special interest and skill in the ICU/ER.
— Brandy Stutts of Laurinburg received the Hamlet Hospital Alumni Award, presented by Hamlet Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association in honor of Dr. William Daniel James to the graduate who has shown proficiency in nursing, high professional standards, scholastic achievement, love for humanity, and participation in student activities.
— Matthew Quick of Laurinburg received the Pediatric Award, presented by the Lillian Duer James family in honor of Dr. William Daniel James to the graduate who has maintained and demonstrated a superior ability in nursing of children.
— Jamika Hunter of Fayetteville received the Scotland Memorial Hospital Administration Award, determined by the vote of the nursing director and nurse managers and with the approval of the hospital administrator, this award is presented by the hospital administration to the graduate who is most dedicated to caring.
— Brittany Hagins Strickland of Lumberton received the Mental Health Nursing Award, presented by Lloyd and Mary Louise King to the graduate who has demonstrated exceptional skills in promoting emotional, psychological, and social wellness to clients across the lifespan.
— Meghan Martin of Ellerbe and Jessica Taylor of Rowland received the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Professional Nursing Awards, determined by faculty recommendation to the graduates who best demonstrate the following characteristics in his or her nursing practice: patient-centered/family-centered approach to care, patient advocate, evidence-based practice, and collaboration with other health care team members and disciplines.
— Erika Anderson of Rockingham received the Scholastic Achievement Award, presented by the Lillian Duer James family in honor of Lillian Duer James to the graduate who has maintained the highest grade point average in the nursing curriculum.
Associate Degree Nursing Class of 2016
* Brittney Wright of Clio
* Meghan Martin of Ellerbe
* Katherine Shaw of Ellerbe
* Jamika Hunter of Fayetteville
* Kaneisia Sansone of Fayetteville
* Levy Steele of Hamlet
* Jessie Molina of Laurel Hill
* Amy Covington of Laurinburg
* Miranda Locklear of Laurinburg
* Matthew Quick of Laurinburg
* Rosanna Smith of Laurinburg
* Brandy Stutts of Laurinburg
* Bobbi Richardson of Lumberton
* Brittany Strickland of Lumberton
* Karen McIntyre of Marston
* Tyler Wood of Maxton
* Adrianna Cooper of Norwood
* Shakora Yarborough of Pinebluff
* Alexandra Aiken of Rockingham
* Erika Anderson of Rockingham
* Rebecca Brand of Rockingham
* Christian Deane of Rockingham
* Fakira Dowdy of Rockingham
* Monica Gunter of Rockingham
* Michelle Howe of Rockingham
* Lauren Kelsey of Rockingham
* Jessica R. Taylor of Rowland
* Rebecca Wallace of Wadesboro
* Samantha Marsh of West End
* Carley McInnis of West End