WARNER, Okla. – Connors State College celebrated the graduation of 21 new nurses in a pinning ceremony held December 11, 2020 on the Warner campus in the Melvin Self Fieldhouse. The pinning ceremony signifies the nursing students’ official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses. The modern ceremony is rich with symbolism; it is the right of passage which can be traced all the way back to the 1860s when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her diligent service to the injured during the Crimean War. By 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates was standard throughout the United States, and Connors follows this practice.
The Nursing Program at the Connors State College has a high success rate of students placed after graduating. Sandra Watson, the Connors’ Division Chair for Nursing and Allied Health, said, “Recently it has been said that nurses are the lifeblood of the hospital. In today’s pandemic, this makes our graduates the lifeblood of our communities.”
“The pinning ceremony is a rite of passage into a noble trusted profession. It is always a very special time. Todays’ graduates are stepping into the unknown and will become part of our nation’s history. These graduates are coming out into our communities at a most needed time. Bedside nurses are displaying incredible courage and dedication to our profession like Florence Nightingale during the 1800s,” said Watson.
“We [CSC] are very proud of these students who have completed a very rigorous academic program,” said Dr. Ron Ramming, CSC President. “We are happy that our students are going to make a difference in a work force that so desperately needs help.”
Among some of the graduates, the class nominated two students who spoke to their fellow classmates and the family and friends present about the classes’ journey together. Jennifer Ashwood represented the Traditional Nurse program, and Amanda Hamilton represented the Career Ladder program.
Students received their pins from their instructors, participated in the Candle Lighting Ceremony, and gave the Nightingale Pledge. Students graduating from the Traditional Nurse program were: Jennifer Ashwood, Tasha Caudwell, Robert Fox Glander, Jeancamille Griffin, Timber Hammans, Kenzy Hammons, Tanya Harris, Peyton Kays, Kelsey Lerma, John Lewis, Jaylee Light, Kristen Morton, Jazmyn Stonecipher, Megan Towie, and Kylie Walker.
Students graduating from the Career Ladder program were: Vonnie Asaro, Kylee Battenfield, Julie Bishop, Minerva Cole, Sharame Guess, Amanda Hamilton, Bradley Price, and Cheri Williams.
For more information about the nursing program at Connors State College, visit our website at www.connorsstate.edu/nursing, or contact our Division Chair for Nursing and Allied Health, Sandra Watson at (918)684-5436.