New Nurses Pinned As Hundreds Graduate from USF College of Nursing
It was a day of celebration and commitment to the nursing pledge as about 375 nursing students graduated May 2 from the University of South Florida College of Nursing during its spring semester pinning and commencement exercises.
The College of Nursing conferred degrees to 234 baccalaureate and 144 graduate students.
Among the highlights was the baccalaureate pinning ceremony at the Marshall Student Center where students received their nursing pins as family and friends watched in a packed ballroom. The pin represents the completion of coursework and official entry into the nursing profession.
The ceremony also featured the alumni path of light, where alumni and faculty held lighted candles to represent their pledge taken in the tradition of Florence Nightingale, known as the “Lady with the Lamp.”
In her remarks, College of Nursing Dean Victoria L. Rich told the students, who had just vowed to uphold the nursing pledge, to think of the lamp as the “symbol of the light that you will bring to patients and families for the rest of your career.”
Dr. Rich also urged students to think of themselves as a pilot.
“A pilot is the person who leads. A pilot is the person who doesn’t follow. A pilot is the person who goes through the troubled waters,” she said. “Think of yourself as a pilot of life, a pilot of health promotion, and a pilot of educating others.”
“So where ever your journey takes you, we wish you much success and hope that you always find your way back to us,” she said.
In her class remarks, nursing student Amy Galindez told classmates that today was a proud moment, but to always remember to be humble.
“It is the gift of humility that matures the professional. Humility is what levels the head with the heart and allows growth and maturity to blossom, and humility is the driving force of excellent nursing,” she said.
“Moving forward, let us enter this profession with excitement, a little bit nervousness, and a whole lot of humility,” Galindez told the group. Fellow classmate Roberto Velasco also offered the class words of advice.
During the pinning ceremony, students and faculty members also received special recognition for their achievements.
The Academic Excellence in Nursing Award was given to Carly Stagg, Natalina Argento, Dara Manley, Kristina Gandharry, and Khadijah Lyons.
The Nightingale Award went to Galindez and Kelly Klovensky, and the Clinical Excellence Award honorees included Sarah Buti, Alexander Clark, and Kelly Karcinski.
Winners of the Nursing Leadership Award included Velasco and Taylor Jordan. Students Hailey Morgan and Padmini Kumar received the Nursing Service Award. And the Spirit of Nursing Award was given to Weronika Dmochowska, Christa Farkas, and Galindez.
During the evening commencement ceremonies, Velasco received the Outstanding Graduate Award for the USF Tampa campus. Three other nursing graduates were also named King O’Neal Scholars for maintaining a 4.0 GPA. The scholars included Loretta Bayer and Laura Rouco, both in the RN to BS program, and Stagg, who graduated from the Upper Division program.
Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing