WARNER – Connors State College celebrated the graduation of 30 new nurses during a May 10 pinning ceremony held at the Fine Arts Auditorium. 

The pinning ceremony signifies the nursing students’ official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses. The modern ceremony is rich with symbolism.

The ceremony signifies the right of passage, which can be traced back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her diligent service to the injured during the Crimean War. By 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates became standard throughout the United States, and Connors follows this practice.

Sandra Watson, interim division chair for Connors' Nursing and Allied Health program, said graduating that many nurses was "exciting for our community because the projected need for nurses in Oklahoma exceeds the current capacity of the schools in Oklahoma.”

Connors officials said its nursing has a high success rate when it comes to placing its students in the workforce after they graduate.  

Two class-nominated graduates spoke to their fellow classmates, family members and friends during the ceremony about the class' journey through the program. Jenee’ Hensley represented the Traditional Nurse program, and Holli Hamby represented the Career Ladder program.

Students received their pins from their instructors, participated in the Candle Lighting Ceremony, and gave the Nightingale Pledge. Students graduating from the Traditional Nurse program were: Erika Barnett, Rachel Hogan, Morgan Booth, Angela Lawson, Keith Carr, Cecilia Mackey, Kynndy Casey, Towanna Martin-Scott, Ashley Collier, Breanna Medearis, Stephanie Dowling, Melanie Pelayo. Brandy Duarte, Jordan Perry, Sophy Garrett, Alya Smith, Jenee’ Hensley, and Katie Wofford.

Students graduating from the Career Ladder program were: Candice Featherston, Holley McElhaney, Wendi Flatt, Ashley Todd, Holli Hamby, Cheere Walker, Kelsi Hilderbrandt, Amy Walton, Ashley Kimble, Amanda Williams, Katie McCullar, and Helen Zelee.

Information: www.connorsstate.edu/nursing or contact Division Chair for Nursing and Allied Health Sandra Watson, (918) 684-5436.

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