11 LPNs pinned at SGTC

Published 9:48 am Friday, August 31, 2018

AMERICUS — Just before ushering in a new class for the Fall 2018 semester, South Georgia Technical College’s (SGTC) practical nursing program on the Americus campus held a pinning ceremony for its 11 graduates recently. The ceremony, held in the John M. Pope Center of the college’s Americus campus, honored the students for completing the program and pinned them as the newest members of the practical nursing brother and sisterhood.
Program graduates recognized during the Summer 2018 ceremony included: Noah Anderson of Richland, Lauren Ard of Americus, Taylor Bennett of Ellaville, Jameica Davis of Plains, Chelsea Durham-Cruz of Americus, Holly Hale of Ideal, Brittany Mutcherson of Americus, Amari Sheriff of Fort Valley, Robin Stukes of Americus, Ashton Singletary Tatum of Americus. and Kayla Ware of Americus.
The ceremony began with a welcome from SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., who offered congratulations to the graduates and thanked the families and supporters for being present at the event.
“Your graduates up here have gone through a lot — they have worked long hours at clinicals and have spent long nights studying … Thank you for supporting them along the way, and I know that they will always appreciate it,” he said.
Graduate Lauren Ard delivered the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance before instructor Jennifer Childs stood to address her class and the audience with a class overview.
“This ceremony and pin represent a lot. It represents us, South Georgia Tech, but it also represents the career that you’re about to embark in,” Childs said. “When you receive this pin today, all the work that you have put into the program — that’s what it means, and I’m so proud of you all.”
After Childs spoke about the students, guest speaker and LPN class of 2011 graduate, Clint Storey, stood to speak to the students and congratulate them on their accomplishment. Graduate Taylor Bennett introduced him to the audience.
Storey told his story — of how he graduated high school and went on to get an associate’s degree in art, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a master’s degree in business. He lived in Atlanta, had a nice house and drove a nice car. Then the recession hit.
After interviewing for several jobs and being told he was overqualified for many of them, he decided to change career paths, thanks to his sister, who graduated from the same LPN program at SGTC in 1991.
“I originally thought, ‘why in the world would I want to be a nurse?’ But I attended an information session and decided to apply … fast-forward nine years, and that’s where we are now. I graduated from SGTC and decided to keep going. I went back to school and finished a BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) at Georgia Southwestern. Then I went to work in cardiology and found out that wasn’t for me. So, I went back to school at South University where I just finished my master’s in family nurse practitioners, and just like you, I’m waiting to take the state boards.
“So, whether or not this is your first career, or you’re starting on a new one, the possibilities are endless … As I told my mother when she asked if I liked this job, I told her this is the hardest job I’ve ever had — but it’s also the most rewarding. Good luck to every one of you as you begin your journey.”
Following Storey’s address, instructors Childs and Christine Rundle, as well as Academic Dean Vanessa Wall, presented the pins to each of the program graduates. One by one, the graduates stepped onto the stage to receive their pin from the instructors or from a loved-one who is also in the medical field.
After each of the graduates had received their pin, they joined fellow graduate Amari Sheriff on the stage as they recited the Nurse’s Pledge and participated in the traditional Lighting of the Lamp — which is representative of the lamp carried by Florence Nightingale.
After the students blew out their candles, Rundle delivered closing remarks, thanking each of the graduates for the opportunity to teach them and wishing them luck in their endeavors. Graduate Kayla Ware delivered the final prayer and benediction.
Upon completion of the program, the graduates are now eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN state board exams to become official licensed practical nurses. The exam consists of 85 to 205 questions and tests all areas in the nursing profession to assure practical nurses have obtained the knowledge to practice safely in clinical settings.