Practical Nurses Bring a Light to Others' Lives
Nineteen graduates of Beaufort County Community College’s Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program received their nursing school pins July 18 in a traditional rite of passage for nursing school graduates across the country. Their family and friends packed into Building 10 on BCCC’s campus to show their support.
India Allen, Bernard Bobo, Anastasia Clark-Benjamin, Monica Curmon, Kristie Lassiter Forbes, Joseph Hanrahan, Sierra Hansley, Shona Dixon Hemby, Kelsey Marie Hill, Sherry Rose Horne, Tyesha Jones, Bethany Price Kirk, Dominique Marie Mercer, Tamakia Moore, Morgan Peed, Taylor Rogerson, Mary Ann Sawyer, Kathryn Shepard and Whitney Smith graduated from the program.
LPN instructor Aino Jackson acknowledged the challenges that each of the students faced during the program, and how they pushed through and finished. In a chilling moment, she looked at each of the graduates, moving down the rows one by one, calling out their names, personalizing the ceremony for all nineteen nurses-to-be.
Three students stood out for their achievements. Joseph Hanrahan was presented with the Academic Award of his class. Jackson presented India Allen with the Leadership Award and Bernard Bobo with the Clinical Award.
As the graduates watched a slideshow of memories, they looked at each other and laughed or sometimes wiped tears from their eyes. During long classes and long shifts on their clinical rotations, these students have developed a lasting bond with each other and their faculty. Instructors Denise King and Lee Anne Oliver pinned the graduates after which each one lit a candle. As they held their candles, they recited the Nurse’s Pledge.
Pinning ceremonies in their currently recognizable form began in 1893. The pin is awarded to the nurse to recognize the achievement of entering the profession and to signify a nursing school graduate’s affiliation with a specific nursing school.
Course work for the LPN program includes the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. It emphasizes safe, individualized nursing care and participation in the interdisciplinary team while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement and informatics.
Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include physicians’ offices; clinics; hospitals; and rehabilitation, long-term care or home health facilities. This year, some graduates were awarded funds to help pay for the cost of the exam, a gift from the class of 2017.
These graduates may lead a life in service to others, but with the close bonds they have formed during their studies, they will also be in service to each other as they take their licensure exams and get their footing in their new careers.