MOUNT VERNON — On Friday, proud family members and friends gathered for a recognition ceremony celebrating the achievements of the Knox County Career Center School of Practical Nursing Class of 2011.
The traditional capping ceremony, with pins for the male students, marks the halfway point in the journey toward becoming a licensed practical nurse.
Special speaker Allison Kaiser, a graduate of the KCCC practical nursing program, honored the families and friends in the audience. She said the commitment from the students’ support group is vital, and then congratulated the students for making it this far.
“It’s not an easy program,” she said. “But that’s all right. Nursing is not an easy job.”
She reminded the students they have already shown perseverance and dedication and urged them to reflect on what motivated them to pursue a nursing career in the first place, and to keep that fresh in their minds as they finish the program and embark on a career.
“You’ve learned so much already,” Kaiser continued. “Congratulations on the work you have already done and all your successes so far. You will have more. ... There are so many wonderful opportunities that are waiting for you. Congratulations and God bless you.”
Practical Nursing Coordinator Jami Nininger said the recognition ceremony is held to acknowledge the sacrifice and commitment of the students, as well as their family and friends. She told those in attendance about the academic and personal growth the students have demonstrated. She revealed that the students have mastered a foreign language — medical terminology — and listed other skills learned and situations experienced.
She said the students have truly earned the nursing cap and pin, which are symbols of professionalism, knowledge, dignity, honesty and compassion, and asked them to look upon those symbols with pride.