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Fifty-eight RLC Associate Degree Nursing students cross stage for Pinning Ceremony

Cheers, laughter and tears filled Rend Lake College’s James “Hummer” Waugh Gymnasium last night during the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Pinning Ceremony. The annual event serves as a symbolic welcoming of newly-graduated nurses into the nursing profession.

Program Director Betty Jo Herbert welcomed the students and spoke to the challenges they’ve faced over the last two years in the program.

“Tonight, I see one cohesive group of students that have stayed and been there for each other to the end,” said Herbert. “We have had weddings. We have had babies. These students have tackled everything, and I am so very, very proud of them. I love each and every one of them.”

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ADN Director Betty Jo Herbert expressed her support and love for the ADN Class of 2017 during her speech Thursday evening.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

She ended her speech with some advice. She said, “Be action-oriented, goal-driven, political, tenacious, articulate, scientific, compassionate, resourceful, creative, visionary, heroic, get the job done and challenge the status quo. Boldly go where no nurse has gone before. Be leaders.”

Nursing Club President Morgan Massie of Waltonville was the first student speaker of the evening. She started by reciting a common verse about the “requirements of nursing.”

“[We will have] to have the memory of an elephant, an angel’s patience, a heart as big as the Sun, a nasal filter, a back strong enough to hold and transfer full grown adults, a five liter bladder and an impenetrable immune system. And they say we’re just a nurse,” said Massie.

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Waltonville’s Morgan Massie thanked her fellow classmates for their hard work through the last two years in RLC’s ADN program.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

She continued, “The Rend Lake College Nursing Program has changed our way of thinking. I pray each of you becomes the nurse you always hoped you’d be. I encourage you to be a trustworthy nurse and always be a patient advocate. On our first day of class, we learned nursing school is a marathon, not a sprint, and to take nursing school one day at a time. And we just made it to the finish line. Congratulations guys, we made it.”

Together, Nursing Professor Kristin Yosanovich, Associate Professor Erica Blumenstock, and Instructor Lynn Salesberry presented the pins to each student.

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Kathryn Wise of Zeigler, RIGHT, poses with ADN Professor Kristin Yosanovich after being pinned.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

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Joseph Hendershott of Tamaroa is pinned by ADN Associate Professor Erica Blumenstock.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

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Amber Bennett of Ashley hands her pin to ADN Instructor Lynn Salesberry.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

After each student was pinned, a second class speaker, Lindsey Cox of Benton, addressed the audience.

“I don’t believe any of us chose nursing. Nursing chose us. There’s something special and great in each and every one of us,” said Cox. “We’re on the front lines of patient care. We have so many options, so never let nursing feel like a job.”

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Lindsey Cox of Benton brought laughter and cheers during her speech Thursday evening.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

She continued, “As we all prepare for the state boards, take the time to do some things you haven’t done in a while. We’ve all become a bit institutionalized. We need time to readjust to society. Read a book with zero educational value. Spend time with family and friends you’ve ignored for the last couple years. Go fishing or hiking and enjoy the sunshine. And never, ever use the word ‘cheat sheet’ in your life. We did it my friends.”

The ceremony ended with each student lighting a candle and reciting the Nightingale Pledge, led by Yosanovich. ADN student Bryce Wiley of West Frankfort led the ceremony with a prayer. A reception was held in the Aquatics Center lobby following the ceremony.

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While holding a lit candle in honor of Florence Nightingale, the recently-pinned ADN graduates recite the Nightingale Pledge.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

More photos of the 2017 ADN Pinning Ceremony can be found on the RLC Flickr page.

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The 2017 ADN students are, FROM LEFT, FRONT ROW, Dionna Martin of Benton, Kathryn Wise of Zeigler, Breanna Davis of Zeigler, Annabelle Shukites of Christopher, Rachel Burns of Mt. Vernon, Amanda Gant of Christopher, Rachel Easton of Benton, Zoie Frey of Christopher, Lindsey Barnes of Marion, Morgan Massie of Waltonville, Amanda Frassato of Pinckneyville, and Tammie Rable of Red Bud; SECOND ROW, Amber Bennett of Ashley, Lindsey Cox of Benton, Mariann Cook of Benton, Charity Jackson of Mt. Vernon, Hannah Draper of Johnsonville, Mallory Berbower of Bluford, Laura Jamerson of Benton, Sherri Smith of Wayne City, Dana Harris of Pinckneyville, Bria Curry of Benton, Sarah Menckowski of Christopher, Christine Keppler-Clayton of Benton, and Kerri Hoehner of Coulterville; THIRD ROW, Miriam Ziehm of Dahlgren, Loghan Matyi of Christopher, Shirley Rogers of Mulkeytown, Leanne Ledbetter of Benton, Carrie J. Harper of Mt. Vernon, Brittany Long of West Frankfort, Jennie Schmulbach of Smithton, Kelly Bishop of Benton, Latika Burns of Belleville, Brittany Webb of McLeansboro, Samantha Orrill of Benton, and Jennifer Long of Mt. Vernon; FOURTH ROW, Brittany Pierce of Centralia, Kelsey Head of Benton, and Shelby Bayler of Broughton; FIFTH ROW, Bryce Wiley of West Frankfort, Abby Taylor of Mt. Vernon, Liane Loyd of Bluford, Jennifer Carroll of Woodlawn, Carrie Stanley of Tamaroa, Joe Hendershott of Tamaroa, Tate Kerley of Thompsonville, Erica Maple of Christopher, Kaleigh Cole of Christopher, and Lindsay Sexton of Carmi; BACK ROW, Amy A. Dalby of Bluford, Brianna Sanders of Tamaroa, Allyce Moll of Steeleville, Darian Campbell of West Frankfort, Callie Priebe of Pinckneyville, Brian Plunk of McLeansboro, Nathan Liszewski of Woodlawn, and Bailee Jones of Valier.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)