Graduates of CAC's nursing program receive AA degrees. Submitted photo

Twenty-seven Central Arizona College students were recognized for completing the college’s nursing program during the 51st Nursing Division Pinning Ceremony held at the Signal Peak Campus on Dec. 3.

The pinning ceremony, a time-honored tradition of nursing schools across the country, signifies a student’s completion of one of the most challenging curricula offered in higher education.

After a warm welcome by Director of Nursing Tina Berry, the graduates were then addressed by Wendy Britt, professor of Nursing. She summarized the importance of nurses, quoting Dr. Seuss, “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

Once the graduates received their pins, class speaker Dee Dee Long addressed her fellow graduates. She shared an overview of the experiences the class had during their time in nursing school and explained that the students completed 720 clinical hours.

Additionally, awards were given to a select few graduates. Dee Dee Long was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award, Rebecca Andrus earned the program’s Leadership Award and Katarina Della Cioppa was presented with the Outstanding Clinician Award.

The evening concluded with a candle lighting ceremony and the graduates taking the Florence Nightingale Pledge. The pledge, an adaption of the physician’s Hippocratic Oath, was written in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and the Farrand Training School for Nurses in Detroit.

The following students received their pins during the ceremony and will receive an associate of applied science degree: Taralyn Adakai, Rebecca Andrus, Theresa Berger, Cara Bingham, Debbie Birt, Tabitha Blixt, Nicole Block, Sandra Bonillas, Jacklyn Busby, Katarina Della Cioppa, Amanda Fallis, Pamela Gertz, Dominic Jansson, Brienna Johnson, Heather Jones, Dee Dee Long, Miranda Lucero, Hayley McCleve, Ximena Montes, Benjamin Pero, Allison Poe, Pamala Rodriguez, Blair Sepulveda, Jacinta Spence, Jessica Todd, AuDrea Watson and  Michelle Wilkie.