A nursing student doesn’t go to school alone. Her family, or his, usually goes along as well.
Family members filled Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium Saturday afternoon for the annual nurse pinning ceremony. As the name of each new nursing graduate was called, family members came on stage to do the pinning. Parents and husbands were the most frequent pinners, but there were also grandparents, aunts and best friends doing the honors.
“It is understandable why you are all so great after seeing all the wonderful families here today,” said Barbara McClaskey, nursing professor. “I know you’re all going to make a huge difference in the lives of people out there.”
Anna Beth Gilmore, Pittsburg, chose her husband and their four children to accompany her on stage.
“My husband helped a lot,” she said in a short speech. “He gave up countless hours in deer stands. My husband’s grandmother helped care for my children. My grandmother was my biggest source of encouragement. She passed away two weeks ago.”
Gilmore, who is employed at Via Christi Hospital, urged her fellow graduates to treat each patient like a family member.
Bailey Bloomingdale was presented with the Spirit of Nursing Award, a national award given by the Army Nurse Corps in cooperation with the National Student Nurses’ Association.
“We need to take the care and support that we have shown each other and apply that to our patients,” Bloomingdale said. “Then they will receive the care they deserve.”
Jennifer Blanset, president of the BSN class, received a VALOR Award certificate and pin. This is a summer internship that enables a nursing student to get didactic experiences and competency-based clinical experience with a nurse preceptor while caring for the nation’s veterans.
Following the ceremony, the nursing graduates served cake and punch to their families and friends.
This was the last pinning ceremony for Susan Wachter, nursing instructor. As of Saturday, she is retired.
“This ceremony is a capstone event for us,” she said. “It’s very much a family event.”
Wachter noted that the nursing program is a demanding one, and has to be because nursing is such an important profession.
“The student isn’t the only one who makes sacrifices,” she said. “The families do, too. They give up a lot to get their students through the nursing program.”