Campbellsville University School of Nursing graduates for 2009. (CU photo by Joan C. McKinney)
CU holds Pinning Ceremony for second class of nursing students
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “So one final prayer, Lord, we send up to you tonight; Keep us beneath your wings as we go to fight the good fight.”
Tiffany Shaw of Campbellsville, one of Campbellsville University’s 18 nursing students, read a poem she’d written titled “A Graduating Nurses’ Prayer” at the second annual School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony May 7 at Ransdell Chapel.
Pins were awarded, and hands were blessed during the ceremony, which featured several presentations by students and member of the CU School of Nursing faculty.
The graduates include: Amanda Arnold of Campbellsville, who received the Award of Excellence at Honors and Awards Day and who gave the invocation at the pinning ceremony; Mindy McCowan of Hustonville, Ky., who received the Academic Award at Honors and Awards Day;
Tamara Brown of Elizabethtown, Ky., who spoke at the ceremony for the class; Corey Clarke of Campbellsville; Lea Coots of Columbia, Ky., who performed a musical selection at the pinning; Lee-Anne Cornett of Campbellsville;
Jason Cox of Greensburg, Ky.; Christina Grant of Campbellsville, Ky.; Cynthia Mackie of Greensburg; Sherree Milby of Greensburg; Tiffany Shaw of Campbellsville, who read a graduate’ poem at the ceremony;
Jessica Shipp of Campbellsville; Whitney Skaggs of Russell Springs, Ky.; Fran Taylor of Campbellsville; Theresa Tucker of Lebanon, Ky.; Erin Weston of Jamestown, Ky.; Chris Wilson of Campbellsville; and Casy Wimberly of Vine Grove, Ky.
Beverly Rowland, interim dean of the School of Nursing, said she performs the pinning ceremony “with great emotion.”
“The Pinning Ceremony is a tradition that nursing schools observe to welcome the graduating students to the profession. When I place this pin on the students, they are no longer my student but my colleague. I hope that each student here knows the pride and warmth that I share with them tonight,” she said.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, said the university is “very, very proud of you.” He discussed the history of the School of Nursing when planning began in 2001 with the late Tom Smith of Danville, a health care professional and member of the CU Board of Trustees, and the late Jerry Bennett, also a member of the board, who worked to get the nursing program started.
He announced that the nursing building will be named in their honor.
He said one of the main considerations of the teaching at the nursing school was that CU nurses have a special touch and feel Christ in their calling.
Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, told the students the faculty was very proud of them. “You are to be commended for the high calling you have chosen,” he said.
Lea Coots, another graduate, sang during the ceremony, and Judith Davis, an adjunct instructor in the School of Music, played piano.
Brown, in her address, gave a final “care plan,” for her fellow nurses and said, “We are a diverse group of individuals. We are wives, husbands, fiancés, we are new mothers, new fathers, and someone’s child but above all of that we are caring compassionate nurses.”
One of the nursing students, Fran Taylor, had a baby girl, Ava Grace, April 10 and came back to classes April 14. Nursing student Christina Grant’s baby is due in two weeks. Chris Wilson’s wife gave birth to a baby eight days before the pinning. And, another personal highlight was the engagement of one of the nurses, Mindy McCowan, at a party in her honor following the ceremony.
Brown described the planning they went through that led to the acceptance of their notification letters into the School of Nursing and how they had learned to lean on each other.
“We felt more like a family to each other than we did a class as the time went on, and we learned that to get through this we needed to be able to lean on each other,” she said.
“As a class and as an individual I can proudly say that our class, the 2009 graduating class of Campbellsville University School of Nursing, has been there for each other. We have come a long way from the first day and I know that now as individuals we will go even further.”
She asked the nurses to stand and applaud those who had helped them during their journey because “each of you out there is why each and every one of us is here. Without your kind words of encouragement, proofreading of papers, overlooking the famous lines ‘honey, it’s takeout food again” and “kids don’t you want to stay with grandma again?” we could not have accomplished this…. this degree is partly yours as well.”
Dr. James Jones, who is Church Relations Council outreach special assistant at CU, blessed the hands of the graduates by anointing them with oil.
He said, as a pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, he goes to Taylor Regional Hospital many days, and “Nurses, you don’t realize how much a nurse means to patients. You are always blessed by God in one of the great professions in the world.”
He urged the graduates to follow Jesus’ teachings and healings and have a spirit of gentleness, compassion, courage, openness, understanding and respect.
“Your hands are an extension of the divine wisdom of God’s healing,” he said.
The nurses were presented Bibles by members of Gideon International, Diana Arvin and Nancy Hunt.
One of the other traditions in the ceremony was the reading of the Nightingale Pledge, led by Brandy Pierce, instructor in the School of Nursing, and the Lighting of the Lamps, led by Angela Atwood, also an instructor.
Each graduate received a red rose given to them by Nicole Loy, instructor, and Rhonda Vale, clinical lab coordinator.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.