The 28 graduates of the A.A.S. in nursing program at Cayuga Community College received their official nursing pin in a May 20 ceremony in the Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theatre on the Auburn Campus. The pinning ceremony dates back to the crusades when a symbol on knight’s armor identified those who protected the sick and dying.
“Your journey at Cayuga has left its imprint on you,” said Professor Linda Alfieri, director of the nursing program. “Each of you sits here this evening a different person from the individual who entered that first day of class in Nursing 101. During your travels through our Nursing curriculum, you have acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to the role of a registered professional nurse.”
Alfieri described the “science” of nursing and the technical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills students learned. Then she focused on the “art” of nursing.
“As nurses, you must be masters in the art of caring,” she said. “Remember that nursing strives to humanize the health care environment. As nurses, you are the heart of the complex health care machine. Please do not let the machine callous or compromise your heart.”
Graduates Brandi Coe and Melissa Holmes delivered the Nursing Class of 2011 address and shared memories of the long nights of studying together.
“No matter how glad we are that this is coming to a close, we will miss each other,” Holmes said. “We have developed strong bonds that are more like a family than classmates…I would be truly honored to have one of my fellow classmates as my nurse.”
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Development Anne Herron served as the host during the evening, which featured a welcome from College President Daniel P. Larson. He asked the graduates to remember drawing blood for the first time, creating their first patient-care plan, and fighting their way through anatomy and physiology.
“Nursing is one of the most challenging and difficult fields of study,” he said. “You truly are among the best and brightest at Cayuga, and we congratulate you on your success.”
Chairman of the College Board of Trustees John Camardo and Cayuga County Legislator Ann Petrus also addressed the graduates.
Petrus, a retired registered nurse, addressed the graduates directly and reminded them of their roles not only in the healthcare system but also in the lives of their patients and families.
“Nurses are with families in their times of joy and sadness, death and birth,” she said. “You make these days easier for them.”
During the ceremony, several nursing graduates received special recognition:
- Christine F. Hisel of Sterling, $500 Madeleine Alfieri Memorial Nursing Award
- Connie J. Brown of Red Creek, $500 Auburn Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Award
- Kelly A. Kehinde of Mexico, $200 Vicki Cook Condie Nursing Excellence Award
- Kelli R. Jackson of Moravia, $290 Barbara Dove Memorial Award
- Melissa T. Holmes of Auburn and Bryan T. Newcomb of Auburn, $250 Virginia (Dent) Greenfield Memorial Award
- Tami J. Denson of Auburn and Christopher J. Reilly of Auburn, $200 Ethyl W. Mapes Nursing Award
- Sharon R. Lupien of Auburn and Lisa A. Wride of Auburn, $200 William J. Painter Memorial Award
- Jennifer R. Nickolas of Oswego, $240 Dorothy M. Rooker Award
- Matthew A. Grover of Auburn, $750 Dr. George Sincerbeaux Pediatric Scholarship
- Sharon R. Lupien of Auburn, $90 Wilfred "Sonny" Taylor Memorial Award
- Melissa T. Holmes of Auburn, $172 Shirley Vargason Memorial Award
- Sara J. Lawson of Cayuga, $450 Herbert P. Ward Memorial Award
- Chad C. Goodell of Auburn and Meghan C. Shaw of Auburn, $576 Joan Post Worden Memorial Scholarship