The graduation and pinning ceremony for BRTC’s Practical Nursing and Registered Nursing students was highlighted by a special address from former Nursing Director Tonya Hankins, speaking to a large audience of family and friends of the 58 nursing graduates on December 5. Hankins headed the program until illness forced her to take a leave of absence.
Speaking very emotionally, she spoke of the students as “my angels, the class that carried us through 2013.” She referenced the outpouring of support in the forms of prayers, many fundraising activities, and other personal acts of kindness. These students had completed a large part of their nursing studies with Hankins at the helm. She also acknowledged the invaluable and capable assistance of Interim Nursing Director Ramonda Housh, who stepped into her place at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester. Hankins also assisted in the pinning ceremony.
The event also included the traditional candle lighting ceremony, culminating with a vocal rendition of “Go Light Your World,” performed by Heather Fletcher.
A total of 18 students received a technical certificate in Practical Nursing; 38 received their Associate of Applied Science degrees in Registered Nursing. Guest speaker at the ceremony was Crystal Gillihan, Director of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium. Class representatives for the RN students were Matthew Phillips and Samantha Brown, and for the PN students, Debbie Cline, class president.
BRTC Board of Trustees Chair Sue Gibson conferred degrees, with awards and pins announced and presented by Housh and Nursing faculty members Bridgette Kasinger, Kelley Whitmire, Jennifer Hibbard, Tina Stroud, Nancy Felts, Kelsie Cagle, Tahnee Green, and Kara Malin. Also assisting in the ceremony in the presenting of diplomas was VP for Technical Education Angie Caldwell.
PN awards included: Nursing I Theory Award, Laura Kueter-Woods; Nursing I Pharmacology Award, Laura Kueter-Woods; Nursing I IV Therapy Award, Hannah Trammel; Best Geriatric Nurse, Amanda Lane; Nursing II Theory Award, Hannah Trammel; Best Medical-Surgical Nurse, Shea Samons; Nursing III Theory Award, Shea Samons; and Perfect Attendance, Megan Walls, Raven Davis, Hannah Trammel and Laura Kueter-Woods.
Additional PN awards included: Award of Recognition, Megan Walls, Laura Kueter-Woods, Shea Samons and Raven Davis; Outstanding Community Service, Kelley Hardin; and Florence Nightingale Award, Hannah Trammel, Shea Samons and Debbie Cline.
The following Registered Nursing Awards were presented: Nursing Process I Award, Janea Phillips; Best Medical-Surgical Nurse, Elisabeth Woodard and Samantha Brown; Nursing Process II Award, Rebecca Collins; Best Obstetrics Nurse, Janea Phillips, Deanna Koons and Brandy Cooper; Nursing III Process Award, Tiffany Kirby.
Additional RN awards included: Best Critical Care Nurse, Samantha Davis and Jasmine Ray; Most Professional Clinical Nurse, Lesley Nailling and Paula Cate; Leadership Award, Janea Phillips and Aaron Franklin; Perfect Attendance, Rebecca Collins and Tracy Hayes; and Florence Nightingale Award, Samantha Brown, Sarah Weatherford and Janea Phillips.
A reception following the ceremony was underwritten by several facilities where BRTC nursing students complete their clinicals: Harris Hospital, Greene Acres Nursing Home, Pocahontas Health and Rehab Center, Randolph Home and St. Bernard’s Medical Center, and by Pinnacle Frames of Pocahontas.