St. Johns River Community College told local Historic City News reporters that the school recently held a pinning ceremony to recognize the graduation of nursing students who earned their Associate of Science in Nursing degree.
The pinning ceremony symbolized the “rite of passage into the nursing profession,” said Anna Lebesch, SJRCC’s vice president for workforce development. The pin is a reminder to the 14 graduates of their purpose to serve the sick and infirmed.
Lebesch described the pinning and lighting ceremony as the symbol of the care and devotion nurses provide. The ceremony is also a continued tradition of Florence Nightingale’s extended honor to her most outstanding nurses.
In addition to the ceremony, students were recognized for special achievements throughout their two-year program. Duval County resident Carie Simmons received the Academic Excellence award; St. Johns County resident Sonia Ricker received the Outstanding Student of the Year award, and Clay County resident Claire Jackson received the Florence Nightingale award.
Students were pinned by family members. The recipient of the Florence Nightingale award lit a single lamp and began the Florence Nightingale Pledge with all graduates joining in. This tradition serves as an icon in nursing from Nightingale, who is known as the founder of modern-day nursing. In the 1800s, Nightingale was known as the “lady with the lamp,” tending to the sick while carrying a lamp to light the way. The ceremony was held at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts located on the Orange Park Campus.
The following students are from St. Johns County: Barbara Alexander and Sonia Ricker.
The following students are from Clay County: Bobbi Barreira, Melanie Cross-Hartley, Dawn Fogle, Claire Jackson, Jessica Jones, Allison Loomis, Grace Mays, Ian Rothstein, Mary Shirai and Stacy Symonds.
The following students are from other counties: Magan Mizell and Carie Simmons.
Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News contributed photograph by Kenya Kelley