RIO GRANDE — Nursing is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who can survive a stint in gynecology, the psych ward and the endless sacrifices to get pinned — according to one graduate.
The University of Rio Grande’s Holzer School of Nursing recently held its pinning ceremony to recognize those graduating in the Class of 2012.
Associate Degree Nursing Program Graduate William Kendall Wyatt of Gallipolis spoke on behalf of his class and spoke he did. He began his speech with “Dear Diary” and relayed to the audience an intimate look at the journey those on stage had taken with him though the 847 days from the time he enrolled to the pinning ceremony.
“Dear Diary,” Wyatt said. “Today is my first day of nursing school. I sat in the second to last row not knowing what I had gotten myself into. I felt like every other sentence from the instructor was ‘If you don’t do this, you will fail and be removed from the program.’ I felt overwhelmed for the first time in my life.”
When describing his progress through the program Wyatt somehow combined a stint in gynecology, his psychology clinical in the VA long term psych ward and a tweaked version of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” that went something like “I’m stuck in VA prison.” Before closing he also managed to work in his mother’s favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson about doing what one can do to help one life breathe easier because you have lived.
In the end though, Wyatt said he stood before the audience to present a group of people who stood strong against all the odds and obstacles.
“Nurses you see, are helpers and fixers,” Wyatt said. “We are bred with a drive to put the puzzle back together. Sometimes even if the puzzle doesn’t want to go.”
Wyatt was also joined on stage by Morgan Roberts who spoke on behalf of her fellow Baccalaureate Nursing Degree Graduates and Rebecca Lyons who spoke on behalf of LPN graduates.
In addition, there were comments made by Rose Roach, M.S., R.N.,assistant professor of URG’s School of Nursing; Barbara Gellman-Danley, Ph.D., president of URG; Kenneth Porada, Ph.D., provost/vice president of academic affairs and Donna Mitchell, Ph.D., R.N., director of the school of nursing. Kristie Seagraves, M.S.N., R.N., assistant professor, URG school of nursing presented the class of 2012, Dr. Mitchell presented the graduates with their pins, Teresa Woods, B.S.N., R.N., presented graduates with flowers. There was a candle lighting ceremony and then Samantha Casella, M.S.N., R.N., assistant professor from the school of nursing, led the Nightingale Pledge.
List of graduates:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Program Graduates — Kristal Bryan, Shannon Caskey, Christina Cain, Ashley Malone, Morgan Roberts, Misty Spradlin, Chelsea Stowers, Laura Tennant, Nichole Veloz.
Associate Degree Nursing Program Graduates — Jay Arrington, John Browning, Penny Burnette, Loretta Caldwell, Amber Campbell, Alfred Caudill, Lesley LeAnn Clark, Tiffany Cochran, Sonya Connolly, Tammy Dillard, Inda Dresbach, Karen Edgar, Kara Hubel, Carrie Jackson, Amanda Justice, Josie Layton, Rebecca Lyons, Summer Martyn, Cody McDaniel, Demeen McQuithy, Hayley McSurley, Brenda Mershon, Pamela Mourning, Kimberly Neely, Ryan Pierce, Alisha Riley, Betsy Rupe, Billie Shepherd, Kayla Smith, Kristen Stanley Brittani Tarter, Holly Thompson, Amanda Trout, William Kendall Wyatt.
Receiving special recognition and awards: Mary Inez Howes Spirit of Nursing Award, Brenda Mershon. Outstanding Nursing Graduate Award, Alfred Lee Caudill. Nightingale Award, Demeen McQuithy. People Caring for People Award, Penny Burnette. Emerson and Evelyn Evans and Sons Family Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Morgan Roberts. Emerson E. Evans Excellence in Nursing Award for Leadership and Management, Morgan Roberts. Manning E. Wetherholt Excellence in Nursing Award for Nursing in Community, Misty Spradlin. Nursing is an Adventure Award, Ashley Malone and Christina Cain. Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for Two Year Nursing Graduate Penny Burnette. Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for Licensed Practical Nurse Advanced Placement Track Graduate, Amber Campbell. Nursing Legacy Award, Karen Edgar. Graduating Veteran Cord, John David Browning.
A reception for the graduates and their families was held after the pinning ceremony on campus.