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Twelve Honored in SCC Practical Nursing Program Graduation and Pinning Ceremony

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Twelve students recently graduated from Surry Community College’s Practical Nursing Program in a special pinning ceremony held at the college.

The event was held in the Grand Hall of the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology on December 13, 2023, and marked a significant milestone in the academic journey of the nursing students.

The graduates include Britani Antunez of Dobson, Kayla Bryant of Thurmond, Emily Calhoun of Rhonda, Brandi Childress of Elkin, Ashton Collins of Claudville, Va., Elizabeth Creed of Elkin, Hanna Morgan Dawson of Dobson, Grace Hiatt of Lowgap, Alexandra Largen of Boonville, Ellen White of Pilot Mountain, Lauren Whitt of Wilkesboro, and Katlynn Wishon of Elkin.

About the ceremony, Dr. Yvonne Johnson, SCC Associate Dean of Health Sciences, commented, “The Nursing Pinning Ceremony is a time-honored tradition that signifies the transition from student to working nurse. It is a moment of celebration, reflection, and anticipation for the bright futures that lie ahead for these graduates. Many of these graduates have already accepted positions in nursing at local healthcare agencies.”

The ceremony was opened by Dr. David Shockley, President of Surry Community College, who extended a welcome to the graduates, faculty, families, and friends, acknowledging the dedication and hard work of the nursing graduates. Dr. Johnson then congratulated the students on their achievements and encouraged them to continue their education and ultimately return to the college to help teach future nursing students.

Bart Shoaf, MSN, RN, and Sarah Noethlich, BSN, RN, adjunct nursing faculty and registered nurses with the college’s clinical partner Northern Regional Hospital were guest speakers for the event. They spoke to the graduates imparting stories from their own nursing careers, encouraging them to embrace nursing as a career that will touch the lives of many.

Graduate Brandi Childress received the Nightingale Award, selected by nursing faculty, for outstanding demonstration of excellent nursing ideals and attributes.

About the award, SCC Nurse Educator Lucinda Fallin, MSN, RN, CHPN, explained, “Florence Nightingale is widely known as the founder of modern professional nursing. She always led by example, demonstrating compassion, dedication to patient care, and careful and deliberate hospital management. The Nightingale Award was created to honor Florence Nightingale who embodied nursing as her life’s vocation and to honor a recipient of this award that exemplifies that same character and calling. Brandi Childress has done just that through her strong character, service to others, and scholarship throughout her journey in the Practical Nursing Program. Many of her peers refer to her as the ‘mother hen’ of the class. She always kept a humble attitude and was no stranger in her quest to always be better than the day before. The Surry Community College nursing faculty members were very honored to present this prestigious award to Brandi. Like Florence, may she always continue in her nursing career with the same compassion and determination to make our world a little better each day to every life she touches.”

Dr. Shockley presented diplomas to the graduates, while Fallin presented pins to the graduates, and SCC Nurse Educator Tonya Martin, BSN, RN, presented Practical Nursing lamps. The presentation of pins and lamps is a highlight of the ceremony, representing not only the academic accomplishments of the graduates, but also their compassion and commitment to the nursing profession.

The ceremony concluded with SCC Nurse Educator Kimberly Hall, MSN, RN, leading the graduates in the Nurse Pledge, which reads, “As I enter the nursing profession I pledge to: Use all the knowledge, skills, and understanding that I possess when providing professional nursing care. Deliver nursing care non-judgmentally and to all those who require it, to the best of my ability. Refrain from any action which might be harmful to the quality of life or health of those I care for. Treat each client with respect. Hold in professional confidence all the personal information entrusted to me. Keep my professional knowledge and skills at the highest level. Give my support and cooperation to all members of the health care team. Contribute to the advancement of the nursing profession. Maintain my nursing practice in accordance with the professional nursing standards required for my profession.”


SCC’s Practical Nursing curriculum prepares individuals with the knowledge and skills to provide nursing care to children and adults. Students will participate in nursing care as directed by the Registered Nurse.

Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices.

Prospective students can contact Dr. Yvonne Johnson at (336) 386-3368 or johnsony@surry.edu for additional information on Surry Community College’s nursing programs.

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