INA, Ill. (July 3, 2018) – Soon-to-be nurses were surrounded by friends, family, and program faculty in celebration as they completed the practical nursing portion of the ADN (Associate Degree Nursing) program at Rend Lake College. They were honored at a Pinning Ceremony yesterday in the Student Center.
Graduate Cassidy Howell of Benton made opening remarks, followed by Lindsey Young of Benton. The latter addressed those in attendance with words of gratitude and pride.
“Looking back just a few short years, I would never have guessed I’d be standing here on my way to being a nurse,” said Young. “I was not always one of those people who knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. While I’ve always admired nurses, I just figured out that nursing is my passion not long ago. No matter how we got here, we’re all here for the same reason: to help people.”
Young spent much of her speech addressing her fellow classmates. Together, the students completed two semesters of Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) coursework, plus a summer course, to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
“Most of all, I want to recognize my classmates, and I want us to recognize the accomplishment we’ve made by getting this far,” she said. “We’ve all struggled and ended up working extremely hard. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but they main thing is that we are here today. I’ve met some of the strongest people I know through this nursing program. That, to me, is a prime example of dedication and perseverance. We are well on our way to accomplishing our main goal of becoming a nurse.”
Young continued, “I want you all to recognize, we’re all needed in the nursing profession. Whether you decide to work in the hospital setting, long-term care, informatics, or education, you will always be an important asset to this profession and you’ve made this career choice for a reason. As hard as this last year has been, I look back and smile at so many moments I’ve gotten from being in class with all of you. We have made some incredible memories and I’m sure we will continue to do so.”
Addressing the audience in the room, Young had words of thanks and praise for support from friends, family, and RLC faculty.
“I would like to say thank you to all the nursing staff, friends, and family for supporting us, not only today, but on our journey through the nursing program so far,” said Young. “To the nursing staff at Rend Lake College, I would add a special thank you for all the times you explained things to us, gave us examples, and shared excitement when one of your students finally clicked with understanding something or when we master a skill we’ve been working on.”
To the friends and family in the audience, Young had some special words of thanks. She said, “Thank you for the support and understanding you’ve given. You hear how hard nursing school is over and over again, but there’s no way of knowing the difficulty unless you go through it. Our friends and family are right there with us showing support. Support may come as an understanding why we may have seemed like an absent friend lately or, in my case, when we’re having pizza again for dinner because there is an exam tomorrow. You’ve helped us through the nursing school meltdown as we fear we might not pass, prayed for us when we needed it, and you might’ve even studied with us on nursing terms that you don’t even understand.”
In closing, Young quoted American poet Maya Angelou. She said, “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, and body of our patients, their families, and ourselves. ‘They may forget your name, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.’”
After Young’s speech, each of the students was pinned by Nursing Instructor Lynn Salesberry. She then led the students in the Nightingale Pledge. A closing was provided by Nursing Director Nancy Buttry who echoed many of Young’s words.
“I want to thank the family and friends for being so supportive of the students as they go through nursing school,” said Buttry. “Nursing school is not easy, it is really hard, and I know that, from speaking to some of the students as they went through the program, there are challenges they meet on a daily or weekly basis.”
To the students, she continued, “I want to say congratulations on completing the first three semesters of nursing school. I hope you can all be outstanding LPNs as you finish your second year of the RN program.”
After the ceremony, the students, faculty, friends, and family enjoyed punch and cake at a reception. To learn more about RLC’s Nursing Program, visit www.rlc.edu/allied-health/nursing, call 618-437-5321, Ext. 1251, or email .