September 21, 2023

Nurse Pinning Celebrates 54 Graduates

Nurse Pinning

With every commencement at the College of Southern Maryland, there is a time for graduates of the nursing program to be recognized. The 60th Spring Commencement was no different, as 54 associate degree nursing candidates had a Nurse Pinning ceremony and celebrated their accomplishments with their professors, faculty, and family on May 16, 2019.

To begin the festivities, CSM Nursing Professor Robin Young, MSN, MSM, RN-BC, explained the history of the modern pinning ceremony, which has its roots in the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War.

Molly McKeever Abell of Mechanicsville addresses her classmates.

“The nursing pin dates back to well over 800 years,” Ms. Young said at the ceremony. “The nursing pin symbolizes a rite of passage for graduates into the professional world of nursing. Nurses care for patients daily with commitment, honor and courage. Our CSM nursing pin is a symbol of this commitment of honor and courage to those we care for. Wear your pin with pride.”

Keynote speaker Mary Lou McEwan, BSN, RN, already knew many of the graduates as several of CSM’s clinic courses were taught on her unit floors at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

“There is no more honorable profession than nursing. None,” Ms. McEwan told the audience at the ceremony. “When you are passionate and love what you do and you love your patients, everything is possible.”

Ms. McEwan reminded the students their careers would be challenging.

“You will be faced with so many challenges I can’t begin to explain,” she said. “Be creative. Use your resources. Don’t be afraid of relying on your critical thinking. And never ever, ever give up. What does being a patient champion and advocate mean? It means fighting for their God-given right. Always do what is right; not what is easy.”

After the nursing candidates were pinned, Molly McKeever Abell of Mechanicsville took the stage to address her fellow classmates. Just the night before, Ms. Abell had been awarded the CSM Health Sciences Division “Academic Achievement in Nursing” award during the Annual Academic Excellence Awards Reception for maintaining the highest grade point average of her class.

“We did it!” she said, before offering funny comparisons to the diagnoses she and her classmates had learned during the previous two years, with pretend nursing student diagnoses.

“Fourth-semester diagnosis … We began to understand the warnings of nursing schools… We had to learn the world of mother baby nursing … We learned that although Harris Teeter is open 24 hours, you can’t group study there all night before an exam if you’re going to talk loudly about the birth process.”

“We became smarter,” she continued. “We finally realized that we would not graduate knowing everything. And maybe that was the point. Maybe nursing school is not meant to teach us everything there is to know about nursing; but, everything there is to know about ourselves. As we reflect on the past two years – I want to remind every individual classmate that you were nurses long before today. You were nurses every time you continued to work tirelessly every day of every semester.”

Ms. Abell told the class that while they may have noticed changes in the patients they impacted, she had seen changes in them.

“I have watched you … became stronger after every failure and I watched you become more gentle because you’ve seen what really matters when people take their last breath,” she said. “I’ve watched you gracefully and tactfully accomplish the unimagined and the seemingly unattainable. I am proud to be among you, but even prouder to have learned from you.”

The following are the names of the CSM students who graduated with associate degrees in nursing May 17, 2019.

Calvert County

Lynn Beardmore

Jacquelyn L. Mason-Cockrell

Kamryn R. DiGeorge

Abbie E. Everly

Lauren N. Fletcher

Kaitlyn K. Hilgenberg

Morgan E. Martin

Sophie Rose Michael

Kacie L. Midkiff

Rosa E. Ortiz

Darlene M. Welling

Krystal E. Wilkerson

Charles County

Alea A. De Belen

Allyson R. Bell

Shamara Black

Ashleigh N. Byers

Tanya M. Clark

Courtney L. DeBold

Summer L. Duelley

Jasmine A. Dyson

Nicole C. Gallo

Kayla F. Getgen

Kristina Guzzardo

Jessica L. Hightower

Jerry R. Hollebon

Miranda E. Martin

Caitlin J. Nutter

Rylee Otten

Walker N. Penzenstadler

Lauren K. Russell

Katrina S. Shepard

Stephanie M. Smith

Leslie Thompson

St. Mary’s County

Molly M. Abell

Hannah E. Aley

Stacy N. Beach

Harmony L. Carter

Brittany N. Carr

Angela M. Cox

Kristina Deluze

Breanna E. Dodge

Jessica Fantaccione

Jacquelyn G. Guadalajara

Adrienne M. Harris

Jacob N. Hawes

Jennifer E. Lampe

Keri L. Lane

Laura S. Litland

Kasey Long

Angela Middleton

Kristen L. Phetteplace

Kristen M. Sasscer

Terrice S. Stewart

Brittany E. Vallandingham

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

Leave A Comment