Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured front row, from left are Kristina Weaver of Clarksdale, MS; Sheila Pryor of Clarksdale, MS; Crystal Dishman of Clarksdale, MS; Leigh Ann Nelson of Cleveland, MS; (second row) Anekeya Stewart of Jonestown, MS; Michelle Tomlinson of Clarksdale, MS; Tatyana Bryant of Clarksdale, MS; Taja Braxton of Coahoma, MS; (third row) Sarah Thomas of Batesville, MS; Takima White of Cleveland, MS; Frederickia Walker of Webb, MS; Alkeria Gooch of Webb, MS; (back row) Sabrina Williams of Lambert, MS; Christina Simpson-Howell of Cleveland, MS; Patricia Kelly of Lyon, MS; Renisha Sacks of Marks, MS; Belinda Brown of Clarksdale, MS; Gregory Johnson of Cleveland, MS; and Kandi Jones Clarksdale, MS.
CLARKSDALE – Coahoma Community College launched the future healthcare careers of 19 students during its Practical Nursing program’s pinning ceremony last week.
The ceremony, held Wednesday in CCC’s Pinnacle, celebrated the achievements of those students completing CCC’s Practical Nursing program. Family and friends of the graduates came out to witness the traditional pinning ceremony for nurses, used to signify induction into the profession. Upon successful completion of the NCLEX-PN exam, the graduates will be able to practice as Licensed Practice Nurses (LPNs).
“It has not been an easy road to this day,” said CCC Dean of Health Sciences Beverly Overton. “Every year, I say that a nursing program is not an easy program to complete. It is not for the faint of heart. Many sacrifices and long hours of study are required to get here … if nursing was easy, there would not be a nursing shortage.”
During the ceremony, graduate Belinda Brown of Clarksdale, MS was presented the Edith Furniss Award—a $500 cash prize presented to a non-traditional practical nursing student who has overcome many obstacles to receive a degree.
Class President Kandi Jones of Clarksdale, MS also briefly addressed her fellow graduates, noting the trilas of completing the PN program and appreciation for the support given by CCC PN faculty and staff.
Loreather Stacker-Turner, Employee Health/Clinical Educator at Merit Health Northwest Mississippi highlighted the ceremony as the keynote speaker.
Stacker-Turner is a native of Clarksdale, MS. She received an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Phillips Community College; a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Delta State University; and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Barkley University.
“I am delighted, ecstatic to see all of you in white today,” said Stacker-Turner to the graduates. “…it signifies togetherness, and in nursing, everyone must work together in order to effectively deliver the best possible care to patients that need it.”
With more than 27 years of service in nursing herself, Stacker-Turner told the graduates to prepare for the tough, but rewarding road ahead.
“There will be days when you’re tired and don’t want to go to work, but then you realize that there are people who are probably feeling ten times worse. So, what do you do? You go to work, and you act as if you are feeling the best you’ve ever felt.”
She also noted the importance of nursing as a profession and the pivotal role nurses have in the efficiency of healthcare.
“President Barack Obama said it best when he said ‘America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system,’” said Stacker-Turner. “We must have compassion for our patients. We are the voice of the voiceless and the advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.”
In closing, Stacker-Turner challenged the graduates to continue working hard to pursue their dreams.
“I challenge you to be compassionate, to be loving and caring. I challenge you to be an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves … to continue your education and to be all that you can be,” she said.
The graduates were then presented by PN Administrative Assistant Wendy Harris and pinned by Instructors Emily Gordon, Chequitia Dixon and Annie Hankins before lighting their lamps and reciting the Practical Nursing Pledge.
The graduates were: Taja Braxton of Coahoma, MS; Belinda Brown of Clarksdale, MS; Tatyana Bryant (secretary) of Clarksdale, MS; Crystal Disman of Clarksdale, MS; Alkeria Gooch (historian) of Webb, MS; Christina Howell of Cleveland, MS; Gregory Johnson of Cleveland, MS; Kandi Jones (president) of Clarksdale, MS; Patricia Kelly of Lyon, MS; Leigh Ann Nelson of Cleveland, MS; Shelia Pryor of Clarksdale, MS; Renisha Sacks of Marks, MS; Anekeya Stewart of Jonestown, MS; Sarah Thomas (vice-president) of Batesville, MS; Michelle Tomlinson of Clarksdale, MS; Frederickia Walker of Webb, MS; Kristina Weaver of Clarksdale, MS; Takima White of Cleveland, MS; and Sabrina Williams of Lambert, MS.