AVON PARK — South Florida State College (SFSC) honored 22 Associate in Science degree in Nursing (ADN) students in a traditional pinning ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 6 in the Alan J. Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at SFSC on the Highlands Campus in Avon Park.
The graduates are: Sarah Birge, Briana Bodon, Hilary Burson, Evelyn Colon, Jenn Davis, Alethia “Rose” Dawson, A.J. Gall, Ebony Gammage, Kordell Haynes, Megan Hegarty, Kaitlyn Hoyle, Chelsey Hughes, Duncan Locke, Ashley Martin, Earlson Nabor, Amanda Pruitt, Marisela Ramos, Colin Robinson, Niyeshema “Monay” Sholtz, Fedelyne Theresias Charles, Airela Vega, and Charles Vetrano Jr.
Each year, nursing graduates award the Golden D.U.C.K. to someone who has served as a mentor to the students in the program. The D.U.C.K. acronym represents the foundational elements of the mentoring arrangement: Developing, Understanding, Compassion, and Knowledge. During the ceremony, graduate A.J. Gall presented the 2022 Golden D.U.C.K. Award to Marlene Cruz: “Upon program completion, my fellow classmates and I were asked to think of an individual who inspired our education and motivated our career choices. The individual we chose was a great nursing mentor during our clinical rotations and in class. She gave us confidence, that extra boost some of us needed to continue through our education. I would like to present the Golden D.U.C.K. award to Marlene Cruz, aka “Momma Cruz.”
During the pinning ceremony, the graduates’ loved ones presented them with their individual nursing pins. The graduates, then, passed the flame of a lamp, one to another, before reciting the Nightingale Pledge.
Mary von Merveldt, director of nursing education, explained the origins of the Nursing pinning and the importance of the lamp lighting ceremony to the graduates: “The pinning we know today originated in the 1850s at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Having been awarded the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale chose to extend this offer to her most outstanding graduating nurses by presenting each of them with a medal of excellence. The presentation of the lamp is a symbol of the caring devotion nurses administer to the sick and injured in the practice of nursing. After nurses were pinned, Nightingale would light a lamp and pass the flame to each nurse as they recited the pledge. The passing of the flame represents a formal welcoming of new nurses to the profession.”
Graduates of the ADN program become registered nurses by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). SFSC Nursing graduates are usually fully employed in nursing within a few months of graduation.
SFSC offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a two-year generic Associate in Science in Nursing, a 13-month transition licensed practical nurse to registered nurse Associate in Science in Nursing, and an 11-month Practical Nursing (PN) career certificate. For more information about SFSC’s Nursing programs, contact Danielle Ochoa, Health Sciences advisor at 863-784-7027 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.