Registered Nurses graduate from North Country Community College May 13.
In a ceremony on May 13, 48 men and women took the stage at the Ticonderoga High School auditorium to make the transition from student to professional.
As a symbolic welcome into the profession the ‘pinning ceremony’ for the Ticonderoga campus has been taking place for over 20 years. First, with Licensed Practical Nurses and then eight years ago with Registered Nurses.
“We love the process of pinning,” said Charles VanAnden, Interim Director of Nursing. “We are saying to the students, ‘now your a nurse it’s up to you to take the next step’.”
The two groups of graduates were given the opportunity to be pinned by a nurse of their choosing. Professors, mentors, parents and spouses took part in the ceremony pinning the graduates and welcoming them into the fold.
“These students are dedicated,” said VanAnden. “The number of hours they put in and the hard work it takes to complete this program is amazing. Still yet some of them do this while working and raising families.”
The Nursing program at North Country is a competitive program that often has a waiting list for admission. Often students from urban areas in New York seek out NCCC as a choice for their education due to the low cost of living and scholarships the school offers. In partnership with Elizabethtown Community Hospital, Glens Falls Hospital and Champlain Valley Physicians Center the college is able to offer hands on clinical learning instruction in addition to their classroom curriculum.
“I never expected to be in upstate New York receiving a pin as a Registered Nurse,” said graduate Zachariah Simmons. “Here we are and it feels good. I can’t take all the credit, my family pushed me to make this dream come true and the friends I made in this program struggled with me through it. The prize is this day the day I can call myself and those I stand here with ‘nurse’.”
The diversity of the class was noted by faculty at the ceremony. New high school graduates, adult learners, married couples, locals, international students and Veterans were all graduates of the programs.
“It doesn’t stop here, keep learning, keep reaching,” said professor Selena Lemay-Kippel.