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Practical nursing professor Aino Jackson places a pin on Caterina Davis during a celebration of the graduates of the practical nursing program.

Class of 2021 practical nurses celebrate with pinning ceremony

The fourteen graduates of Beaufort County Community College’s Practical Nursing (PN) program celebrated completing their program through a pinning ceremony on July 14. The in-person ceremony was a step toward a return to normal, as there was no pinning ceremony for the Class of 2020. The number of graduates also increased by ten over the previous year.

The graduates still wore masks at the ceremony, as they are tested regularly for COVID-19 and follow stricter protocols at their clinical sites. The disease heavily affected nursing homes and assisted living facilities which often employ LPNs.

Class president Kasey Tinker discussed the bedside skills that they learned through their clinical experience, including consoling families and patients and delivering hard news.

PN professor Aino Jackson referenced their recent discussions about the stages of team development, including forming, storming, norming and performing. At this point the class is in the performing stage–established, mature, and organized–but soon they will start fresh at the forming stage in their new workplaces, getting acquainted and oriented to a new set of skills, personalities, and styles.

The program also welcomed Taylor Jackson aboard this January as the newest practical nursing professor. Jackson presented Caterina Davis with the Academic Excellence Award and Aquita Holley with the Clinical Excellence Award. Each year the preceding class raises funds to support students in the next class through several scholarships. Caterina Davis, Quwaneka George, and Kasey Tinker received the Class of 2020’s scholarships.

Taylor Anderson, Destiny Barrow, Kayla Bundy, Caterina Davis, Quwaneka George, Timika Gorham, Aquita Holley, Luv Hope, Hayley Noles, Megan Scott, Takira Smart-Simpson, Brianna Smith, Heather Spencer, and Kasey Tinker graduated from the program.

Course work for the PN 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. Students have to develop nursing narratives, concept maps and complete clinicals at local healthcare facilities.

The graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN before starting employment at physicians’ offices; clinics; hospitals; or rehabilitation, long-term care or home health facilities.

These graduates are entering the workforce when the importance of the profession is more visible to the public than before, and their ability to safely and competently carry out their work can play a major role in bringing the pandemic under control.

For more information about the PN program, contact Olivia Francis at 252-940-6221 or olivia.francis@beaufortccc.edu.