HAMLET — Twenty-eight nursing students of Richmond Community College were officially pinned during the college’s Associates Degree Nursing (ADN) commencement exercises May 11 at the Cole Auditorium. Among those graduating were two students from Anson County, Naja Fair and Effie Leak.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, welcomed everyone to the annual pinning ceremony that celebrates a turning point in these students’ lives as they prepare to go into the nursing profession.
“It’s been a long journey and we’re very proud of you. This is a key event you’ll cherish forever,” he said.
McInnis also recognized the family and friends of the students who supported them while they were in college, as well as recognized the nursing faculty. He also acknowledged the long careers of several retiring nursing faculty and staff members, Nursing Department Chair Carole Gibson, instructor Linda King and administrative assistance Penny Jacobs.
Gibson was the guest speaker for the pinning ceremony, explaining to these students the importance of compassionate nursing and offering tips on how to survive their first year as a registered nurse.
“I want to discuss the need to balance the science with the art of nursing. I believe that unless the art of nursing is recognized as necessary to quality healthcare, we may be producing good technicians, but not necessarily good nurses,” Gibson said.
Gibson said compassionate care is essential to the practice of nursing, and studies have shown that compassionate nursing care produces better client outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. She quoted another study, however, that indicated nursing students enter the profession having high levels of compassion for others, while as the clinical exposure increases, the compassion declines.
“In an increasingly complex and technology laden healthcare environment, students can become so focused on the science and technology of nursing, that there is neglect for what drew you into the profession in the first place,” she said.
Gibson also said their first year would be filled with a tremendous amount of on-the-job training as they transition from the academic setting to real world demands.
“As you move from this academic environment and begin your new role as an RN, the stress will decrease, the use of evidence-based practice to support quality and safe practice will improve, communication will improve, and feelings of competency will occur with time, learning and experience,” Gibson said. “Don’t give up! Stick with it as you have done in this program. Find the balance of the science and art of nursing and recognize the power you have to positively impact the domain that makes nursing uniquely different from other healthcare disciplines.”
Also speaking during the pinning ceremony was ADN Class of 2017 President Rose Hunt.
“To my classmates, I challenge you to embrace the future with open arms. The future belongs to those who truly believe in their dreams, and today, we have made those dreams a reality,” Hunt said. “We are armed with the education, the support of our friends and family, and the ambition to materialize our dreams. Let this be the stepping stone for each one of us on our journey.”