Holmes holds pinning ceremony for nurses

Holmes holds pinning ceremony for nurses


The Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus held a pinning ceremony for the Practical Nursing Class of 2023 on June 29 at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison where two Madison County residents were honored. 

Fourteen students were honored. The graduating class included Colton Alexander of Lena, Brianna Beamon of Ridgeland, Brian Burrough of Bentonia, Ikeyonia Davidson of Clinton, Shea Harris of Yazoo City, Gracie Johnson of Brandon, Kalyn Jones of Benton, Robin Liddell of Clinton, U’kilah McKinley of Itta Bena, Kimberly Rushing of Clinton, Victoria Rushton of Canton, DeAnna Shoulders of Jackson, Demya Watson of Clinton and Jayla White of Byram.

The ceremony began with a processional of the graduates, followed by Burrough, the class vice president, giving the invocation. Following the prayer, Holmes Ridgeland Campus Vice President Dr. Don Burnham welcomed everyone before Davidson, the class president, shared some remarks.

“First, I give honor to God, who has made all this possible,” Davidson said. “Next, I would like to thank all of our families and our friends who aided us in this nursing journey. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the Practical Nursing Class of 2023. We did it! We have seen each other at our worst, and we have celebrated with each other at our highest moments. We set out to achieve this goal, and here we are today, living in our moment.

“When we set out on this journey, we had no idea what was ahead for us,” Davidson said. “The late nights, the early mornings and still being active and present for our families. Whatever mountain we have had to climb, it has not been in vain. Being in this moment today and going through these past 10 months should let us know that there is nothing that can stop any of us.

“In conclusion, I’d like to leave an SBAR,” Davidson said. “S is for situation. There are 14 ambitious individuals with a common goal in mind: to be amazing nurses who will impact every life they encounter. B is for background. Some are mothers, some are soon-to-be mothers, aunts, sisters, friends and uncles who have devoted 10 months of their lives, sacrificed countless hours of sleep and devoted countless hours studying to be right where we are today, the graduating Class of 2023.

“A is for assessment. My assessment now and will forever be, if God is for you, who can be against you? Psalm 73:26 says, ‘My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’ Finally, R is for recommendation. My recommendation is that we continue on this path and follow it until we have reached all of our goals. I recommend that we take every lesson learned in the classroom and use it to our advantage to be the most competent nurses in our respected fields. Keep God first, and always remember that your dreams should stay big, and your worries should stay small. Work for a cause, not for applause. Thank you."

Following Davidson’s remarks, nursing instructor Dr. Lakesia Sutton stepped up to introduce the speaker, Priscilla Burks, Ph.D., the director of Practical Nursing Education for the Mississippi Board of Nursing. Burks oversees the PN curriculum in Mississippi’s community and proprietary colleges and governs the state’s PN programs. She has more than 20 years of experience in nursing education and administration, including time as the Dean of Nursing and PN director for community colleges.

“Administrators, practical nursing faculty, staff, family, friends and the Practical Nursing 2023 summer graduates, I want to say, congratulations,” Burks said. “I am humbled to participate in one of the most historical parts of your nursing journey: your pinning ceremony. What an accomplishment! A survey a few years ago deemed nursing as one of the most challenging programs to complete and you have survived it! The struggle may have been real, but the reward is worth it.

“According to the Gallup poll, for more than 20 years, nursing has been ranked as one of the most trusted professions of honesty. When you’re in a position of trust, you hold a great deal of power. With that power comes great responsibility. You have an obligation to live up to the trust that has been placed upon you. You will be there for patients and their families when they are at their most vulnerable. How you act, the words you speak, the time you spend with that patient and their family can change their lives forever. As Maya Angelou stated, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

“Nursing is a fabulous career with more opportunities than you will ever imagine,” Burks said. “Being a nurse means that you will forever be learning and growing. Follow your heart, set goals and take advantage of opportunities when they are presented to you. Most of all, remember to be flexible. For those of you in the audience who are inspired by this amazing group of graduates, it’s never too late to step out in faith and cease the moment.

“In closing, practical nursing graduates, I’d like to offer you some advice,” Burks said. “Show gratitude. You wouldn’t be here today without the support of your family and friends, whether that be support financially, emotionally, spiritually…provided a shoulder for you to cry on as you prepared for finals, interceded in prayer on your behalf…show gratitude. Remain humble; humility is an indication of your inner strength. No task is beneath you and everyone on the team is important. Challenge yourself. There are going to be times of uncertainty, but trust in yourself and know that the PN faculty have prepared you to achieve greatness. Possess integrity. Learn from your mistakes and become a better person as a result. Take care of yourself. Always, always, always remember what it was like to be a student and encourage the next generation of nurses.”

After Burks’ address, nursing instructor Heather Roberts approached the podium to present awards. Liddell was named valedictorian for having the highest GPA in her class, Jones was named salutatorian for having the second highest GPA and Watson was named the class historian for having the third highest. Additionally, Liddell was named Practical Nursing Student of the Year for her excellence in academics and leadership. After the awards presentation, Dr. Sutton called the students to the stage one-by-one to receive their certificates and pins. Dr. Burnham and Career Technical Coordinator Allison DeWeese presented certificates before Roberts pinned each student.

For more information about the Holmes Practical Nursing program, contact Career Technical Counselor Jovonna Parker at (601) 605-3355 or jparker@holmescc.edu.

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