Nursing graduates get pinned at Alcorn

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 8, 2009

lorman — The 70 nursing graduates at Alcorn State University struggled to find the best adjectives at their pinning ceremony Thursday afternoon — only so many words mean joy.

But the consensus was clear that the newly pinned graduates felt happiness, relief, pride and accomplishment.

“We had a lot of trials and tribulations,” associate nursing degree graduate Danielle Smith said after fastening her pin. “But we survived.”

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Smith said she felt very blessed that she was able to receive her pin, which symbolizes a nurse’s right to service in healthcare.

She said looks forward to a long career of bettering patient’s lives and gaining personal achievement.

Kristen Manning, baccalaureate nursing degree graduate, said she’s looking forward to a long career of non-stop learning, and that her education hasn’t ended with the graduation ceremony.

Though she said she’s glad the stress of cramming for classes is behind her, she said her nursing school experience at Alcorn flew by.

“I’m going to miss my classmates,” she said.

But being able to graduate is something she’s not likely to forget.

“I’m on an adrenaline rush,” Manning said.

Manning’s not the only graduate who said she feels time sped by in school.

Louis Little, associate nursing degree graduate, said she took the fast track program, which led her to graduate in just one year.

Little said exiting the stage with pin in hand a mere 12 months after starting school has left her head spinning — but in a good way.

“I’m just so happy,” she said. “I feel great.”

The graduate speakers told stories that centered on the pathway to graduation — late nights of studying, tearful anxiety and the ultimate bond that formed in the class of 2009.

But the message of the staff, faculty and the graduation speaker, Cynthia Bienemy, who is an associate professor at Southern University’s and A&M College’s School of Nursing, was to always look to the future.

Bienemy said all the nursing graduates are capable of carrying out a career, but she said the other prong of nursing is having a calling to do it.

“I hope that each of you have been called to be a nurse and that you take that calling seriously,” she said. “I believe that nursing is caring.”

She said the difference between a good nurse and an excellent nurse is taking the time to hold a patient’s hand, bring them juice and comfort them when they’re frightened.

Bienemy said she has been a nurse for 28 years, and she is still proud to say that she is a nurse.

“I know I have the potential to touch someone in a very special way,” she said.

Bienemy said she hopes the graduates will be able to say the same in the future.