WATERTOWN — As the fanfare music started, new nurses filed into the Sturtz Theater of Jefferson Community College one by one, wearing white uniforms and carrying red roses.
Thirty-seven candidates for the associate in applied science degree in nursing were eligible to take part in this year’s spring nurse pinning ceremony. The pins they received were designed in 1971 by that year’s graduating class at JCC.
The ceremony was livestreamed, accessible via the college’s website beginning at 6 p.m. on May 26. A special thank you presentation premiered at 5:30 p.m. For those who missed the ceremony, it’s available on the college’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SUNYJefferson.
The “pinning ceremony” is a time-honored tradition at all institutions of higher education that offer degrees in nursing. The ceremony is symbolic of the transition from a student to entry into nursing as a profession. The pin is designed to be unique to each school of nursing.
After being “pinned,” signifying an end to two years of studies — both in person and at home — each student recited Florence Nightingale’s pledge. During the ceremony, some of the students were honored for their achievements with the presentation of various awards:
The Debra R. Marsala Excellence in Nursing Award, bestowed upon an individual who demonstrates dedication, excellence and passion for the profession of nursing, was awarded to Keyawnna Stroud, Fort Drum.
The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Award, established to honor a senior nursing student who exemplifies excellence in caring and providing service to the sick, was awarded to Allison L. Howard of Brownville.
Jonathan M. Pitts of Watertown was the recipient of the Marion Brennon Personal Growth in Nursing Award, which is bestowed upon an individual who perseveres in the nursing program while overcoming many personal challenges along the way.
Taylor Toronto of Watertown was the recipient of the Samaritan Medical Center HEART Award, which recognizes a student who consistently incorporates compassion and comfort measures during his/her care for patients. She also earned her associate in applied science degree in individual studies from JCC.
The STAR Award in Memory of Dr. Walter S. Atkinson, bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated clinical and academic excellence and has consistently performed at the highest level, was awarded to Sarah M. Lockwood of Cape Vincent.
Alyssa Cox of Calcium, a freshman nursing student, received the Bill and Kate McBride Family Nursing Award, which is bestowed upon an individual who exemplifies merit in education, hard work and self-sufficiency values upheld by the McBride family.