MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Community College nursing program bid their 22 graduating students farewell during a special pinning ceremony Friday. The ceremony took place online via Zoom, making it the program’s first ever virtual pinning ceremony.
Graduates were joined online by family and friends as they received their nursing pins and recited the official Nurse’s Pledge – both a symbolic welcoming into the nursing profession.
Big Bend Director of Health Education Programs Katherine Christian said she was proud of this year’s graduating class for their strong finish to the academic year.
“This graduating class faced so many challenges in this last quarter, starting with moving all classes online almost literally overnight. Their clinical experiences had to be delayed, and several students were possibly exposed to the virus during this quarter (although none became sick),” said Christian. “They rolled with the punches, adjusting their schedules and adapting to nearly constant change. We are so proud of them and so grateful to our clinical partners for helping them to get completed on time.”
Christian said this year’s virtual ceremony was bittersweet for nursing faculty.
“Although it was disappointing that we could not meet our graduates face to face for the pinning ceremony, the virtual ceremony maintained all the traditions, and we were so glad to be together,” said Christian.
During the ceremony, students heard from Big Bend president Terry Leas, who also congratulated the group for making it to graduation day. The group also heard from nursing instructor Hannah Capelo and fellow student Roberta Mattson.
Mattson said the key to getting through the last quarter was flexibility.
“The flexibility of both the nursing students and instructors became so important this last quarter due to COVID-19 and the need for virtual learning. We made it through as a class and the virtual ceremony went well while still keeping in mind the safety of our audience,” said Mattson. “Thank goodness for technology!”
Nursing graduates will be taking their NCLEX (National Council Licensing Examination) in the next several weeks.