2018 Nursing Graduates Pinned in Ceremony

Forty-six graduated from Beaufort County Community College’s Associate Degree in Nursing program on May 11. The families and supporters of the graduates packed the Harvest Church. The ceremony precedes the main commencement exercise, and it has been a tradition of the nursing program since its inception.

The graduates finished a five-semester program, including clinical experience in nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare agencies. They are trained in general nursing, long-term care, home health, medical surgical nursing, and intermediate and intensive care.

Graduates Joyner Mata and Daricus Fields share lessons learned, anecdotes about their faculty and the struggles and triumphs, both shared and personal, they went through to get to through the program.

“Pace yourself. I promise you could have everything you want, but you can’t have it all right now,” advised Fields. “We did this all for our future. You can ask any nurse, after you pass the NCLEX, everything will change. Look forward to it. Enjoy it. Make the most of it.”

A number of students have pushed through personal challenges, including juggling military service, deaths in the family and childbirth.

“This isn’t something that’s passed out,” emphasized Fields. “You can’t buy it. We’ve earned every bit of it.”

Kent Dickerson, director of the nursing program, asked all the people in the audience who helped with paying bills, babysitting and emotional support to stand. Much of the crowd ended up standing. Dickerson iterated that in a similar way, the graduates will not only deal with the patients, but their families. Nurses walking into a room are living up to expectations for care and compassion. They set the tone for interactions between the family and the hospital.

ADN instructor Amanda Laughlin gave out awards to the graduating class. She presented Katelyn Kincer with both the Academic Excellence Award and the Award for Outstanding Leadership. Michelle Ashe received the Outstanding Senior Award, and James Matthews received the Katie Paul Award for Clinical Excellence.

Molly Wells, ADN instructor, presented the DAISY in Training Awards to graduates for their delivery of clinical care in an extraordinary and compassionate way to patients and their families as they are learning. This is only the second year that the college has handed out these awards from the DAISY Foundation. The students get hand-carved stone sculptures that represent healing and have their name placed on a national list of recipients. Wells presented Sheri-Gay Kirby and Nancy Wallace with the awards.

Students graduating from the program must pass the nursing board exam before being employed. An increasing number of the graduates are part of the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program where they will receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree one year after receiving their ADN. The RIBN program seeks to increase the number of nurses with four-year degrees across the state.

These graduates will fill high-demand positions regionally with hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. BCCC congratulates them and thanks them for their commitment to community.