Pittsburg State University’s Department of Nursing celebrated the accomplishments more than 100 graduates during the traditional pinning ceremony Thursday evening.
Students were welcomed by Krystal Beecher, president of the BSN class, who introduced Mary Carol Pomatto, chair of the nursing department.
Pomatto said this is the 41st pinning ceremony for the Pittsburg State University Department of Nursing, and she complimented the class on its many achievements within the students’ own discipline and on the campus at large.
She said two from the program were nominated as finalists for the Pittsburg State University Outstanding Senior award, and one will be commissioned as a member of the U.S. Army ROTC today.
“The graduates’ commitments to excellence and service goes beyond what is published in the program,” she said. “We have witnessed our graduates extending a helping hand to someone in need, comforting a child, helping a patient to die with dignity and numerous other caring interventions offered with personal integrity and professionalism.”
She said graduation is a bittersweet moment for the faculty and staff as the students reach their personal goal, because the faculty will no longer be with the students as they continue on their journeys.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to work with you,” she said.
“Thank you for choosing to make a healthy difference in the lives of others through a career in nursing,” Pomatto said.
Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, then spoke to the graduates about the rigorous standards in the nursing program.
“I regard you as some of the best and brightest students at Pittsburg State University,” he said.
He also talked about the emotions the students will encounter in their future work.
“You will be in touch with human emotions at their highest form and their lowest form,” Kunkel said.
He then brought in some of his expertise, sociology, and said part of being a nurse is being a good global citizen, and that the College of Arts and Sciences has helped to pave the way for the students to continue down that path.
Page 2 of 2 -
Students then crossed the stage one by one, with family members or close friends pinning them.
Each student’s reason for selecting that individual or group of people was shared, along with touching stories of support and sacrifice.
Students Lauren Kuefler and Kristan Chester said the intense course brought them together as friends, and they both are looking forward to beginning jobs at hospitals in the same city, Joplin.
“We were in our first clinical group together and never looked back,” Chester said of the friendship.
Chester also said she would like to work for a few years, then return to Pittsburg State University for the doctorate degree that the university will begin offering, and she said she hopes to bring Kuefler back with her when she does.
Both said the pinning is a special evening for the nurses, who will officially graduate Friday evening.
“It’s more based on tradition,” Chester said.