HAMLET – Richmond Community College held a pinning ceremony on Wednesday for 46 Nursing Assistant I students for completion of this program. These students can now take the state certification exam and become certified nursing assistants.
Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, welcomed everyone to the pinning ceremony.
“This is a great day to celebrate both the graduates and the family and friends here with us today. Thank you for the love and support you have provided to the students. This is a rigorous set of coursework that has put these folks not only on a new career path but also on a new life path,” McInnis said. “To our graduates, congratulations. We have students here from all walks of life, but the common denominator is that they are working to take care of people.”
Nursing Department Chair Janet Sims said the Nursing Assistant program is the foundation in nursing, and these students would fulfill vital roles in the medical community.
“First of all, let me thank the student body. I greatly appreciate that you have allowed Richmond Community College to be a part of your step into the nursing profession,” Sims said. “I hope as you move forward with whatever you do, you will look back and let us support you in any of your academic endeavors and know we will always be here for you.”
RichmondCC nursing assistant students Tonya Smith of Laurel Hill and Kelsea Anderson of Hamlet served as guest speakers for the ceremony.
Smith, who was a cosmetologist and salon owner for 20 years, said her love for helping people and dream of becoming a registered nurse started when she was a young girl.
“My passion for nursing never died throughout my career as a cosmetologist,” Smith said. “In 2013, my sister was diagnosed with cancer. While caring for my sister, I knew that helping others and being a nurse was my passion. “
Anderson, who is a wife, mother and student, said she was honored to be speaking on behalf of the class.
“Looking back from where we begin and where we are today, it is easy to say we did this by depending on each other. We learned to take care of one another through this entire program,”
Anderson said. “Finding time to study between family and work hasn’t always been easy. This course has come with tears and anxiety, but we got through it. Somehow we learned to take someone else’s heartrate while ours was pounding out of our chest. Congratulations to our class; we should all be very proud.”
Also speaking during the pinning ceremony was Brenda Huffman, who is an instructor for the Nursing Assistant program.
“You have a created a special bond with your classmates that has carried you through the obstacles that the Nursing Assistant program sometimes has. You took your first steps together as strangers and not knowing what lay ahead of you. You have gained knowledge and lifelong friends and are now Richmond Community College Nursing Assistant graduates.”
For information about the Nursing Assistant program and enrolling in Spring Semester, call Program Coordinator Shelia Adams at 910-410-1891 or [email protected]
Kacie Hamby is the assistant director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.