Tuesday, 16 July 2019 21:52

16 graduate from Richmond Community College Practical Nursing Program

Written by
Rate this item
(2 votes)
Practical Nursing graduates take the Nurse's Oath during a pinning ceremony at Cole Auditorium on Tuesday. See more photos and video on the RO's Facebook page. Practical Nursing graduates take the Nurse's Oath during a pinning ceremony at Cole Auditorium on Tuesday. See more photos and video on the RO's Facebook page. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — Sixteen women walked across the stage of Cole Auditorium Tuesday evening, ready to begin a career in nursing.

Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis welcomed the friends and family members to the 13th annual Practical Nursing Pinning — urging them to turn the ringers off of their cellphones and hold their applause until the end — before introducing the speaker, Melissa  Medlin, who graduated last year.

Medlin, who now works with Scotland Memorial Urgent Care, said going through nursing school was “one of the best decisions I ever made.”

“It is hard to believe I was sitting here on this stage one year ago tonight,” she said. “I know exactly how these girls are feeling.

“All of their hard work, perseverance and dedication to this program has led them to where they are tonight … about to be pinned as a nurse.”

Medlin, having gone through the program herself, knows about the sleepless nights and sacrifices made by the students.

“You always hear how hard the nursing program is and try to prepare yourself the best you can, but you will never truly understand how hard it is unless you experience it for yourself,” she continued. “The struggle is so real. No one will know the days that you are so exhausted from just studying, the late nights where all you wanted to do was sleep or cry — but somehow you made it through.”

She got a chuckle when she talked about taking an exam with “select all that apply” or where every answer is technically correct, “but you have to choose the one that is most correct.”

“Those critical thinking skills we learn in nursing,” she added, “you’ve got to love them.”

The Practical Nursing students shadowed Medlin at her job and said they probably needed a pair of roller skates to keep up with her.

“These girls have put the last year of their lives on hold to have something that will last a lifetime,” she said. “Remember how hard you worked to get here, cherish your nursing license.”

She then closed with a quote from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Following Medlin’s speech, Nursing Department Chair Janet Sims called the name of each student, who then walked on stage, was pinned by instructor Heather Cox, presented with a single red rose by instructor Victoria Witherspoon and a diploma by McInnis.

Cox then handed out awards to six of the students (listed with the names at the end) before turning the mic over to Hannah Chambers, 2019 PN class president.

Chambers had to fight back her emotions to deliver her address.

“We embarked on this eventful journey in August of 2018, and by the second day, we knew we were in for a tough three semesters,” she said. “I can honestly speak from experience when I say nursing school is hard, and time consuming and beyond stressful.”

Throughout their journey, Chambers said they had fought, studied, cried, prayed … and ate together.

“But most importantly,” she added, “we pushed through all of this together.”

With that, Chambers said they’ve earned the right to say, “I’m finally finished with nursing school.”

Sierra Morrison, class vice president, led the students and all nurses in the audience in the Nurse’s Pledge, prior to the benediction and ceremonial lighting of the candles before they walked out of the auditorium, where they hugged and took photos with family members and each other.

The Richmond Community College Practical Nursing Class of 2019 is:

  • Tia Nicole Bryant
  • Victoria A. Buchanan - The Dr. Diane Honeycutt Practical Nursing Education Academic Excellence Award
  • Hannah Elisabeth Chambers - Scotland Health Care System Nursing Service Award
  • Amanda Nicole Chappell
  • Deneise A. Dakin - Jerry D. Sims Compassion and Professionalism Award
  • Natasha S. Davis
  • Lacey Bunch DeBerry
  • Brianna Emily Edwards
  • Carrie McKay Hancock
  • Latoya Shavon Monley - RCC Practical Nursing Faculty Award
  • Sierra R.M. Morrison - James Edison Sellers Sr. Memorial Nursing Award
  • Danielle Shere Purcell
  • DanYelle Sharice Stroman
  • Julie A. Truesdell
  • Equilla Shavone Tyson - FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond Compassionate Caregiver Award
  • Leslie Morgan Walters



Last modified on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 22:54