Rio Grande, Ohio – The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College recognized the Class of 2019 graduates from the Holzer School of Nursing with a pinning ceremony Friday, May 2. The group included 11 graduates earning their BSN, and 57 graduates earning their Associate Degree in Nursing. Dr. Donna Mitchell, Dean of the College of Professional and Technical Studies, said the students have done extremely well in their studies.
“The pinning ceremony is a celebration of the nursing students’ completion of this program. Many students hold the pinning ceremony in very high esteem and remember it the rest of their lives. This program requires dedication and a great deal of study time, so I’m extremely proud of this group of graduates,” Mitchell said. “The majority of our students stay within the region, so this gives them a chance to get a quality nursing education in the community they plan to serve as nurses.”
The students in the program have already begun to make differences in the field not only through their clinical work, but also by giving back to their communities. This fall, they joined the campaign, “Nurses Support Their Young,” which encourages a healthy workplace environment of kindness and compassion, and this spring, the group donated diapers to Lily’s Place in Huntington, WV, a non-profit organization designed to help infants and families suffering from the effects of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The recent graduates from this year’s class will now prepare to sit for their licensure exams, a requirement to enter the workforce as nurses. Nursing Program Director Dr. Bonnie Allen Smith, Ph.D., RN, said she congratulates the students for their hard work and is excited to see where their careers lead them.
“I am proud of this group’s accomplishments. They have done exceptional work in their classes and clinical experiences, and they will continue to do great things in the field,” Smith said. The pinning ceremony for nursing graduates has a long history dating back to the Crimean War. The event is symbolic of the medals awarded by Florence Nightingale to nurses who helped her care for soldiers during the war. The candle lighting portion of the ceremony reflects Nightingale’s role as the Lady with the Lamp, giving hope to the soldiers that help was on the way and that they would soon begin to feel better.. Smith said the event signifies the students have successfully fulfilled the program requirements, and that she enjoyed seeing the students’ excitement and watching them light candles, a significant part of the ceremony with a long history.
“The ceremony is a tradition in nursing education that can trace back to Florence Nightingale. I think it’s wonderful Rio includes the candle lighting tradition in the pinning ceremony because it signifies that as nurses, we will also provide comfort and light for our patients. I know our graduates will go on to fulfill that promise,” Smith said. “This was a beautiful ceremony. It’s always wonderful to see the students as well as their families and friends and our boards of trustees and faculty all come together to celebrate the hard work of the students.”
The faculty, administration and boards of trustees at the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College congratulate these graduates for their outstanding achievement in the program and wish them the best of luck for their futures. For more information on Rio’s Holzer School of Nursing, contact the Office of Admissions at 740-245-7208.