The Central Texas College (CTC) Nursing and Allied Health department concluded National Nurse Appreciation Week and the spring 2018 semester with a pinning ceremony for 36 students completing the Associate Degree in Nursing program. Students received pins signifying the transition of their role as a student nurse to that of a practicing nurse. Guest speaker for the ceremony was CTC ADN graduate Kristen Donaghue, MSN-Ed, RN, VHA-CM, of the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System.

During the ceremony, several honor students were recognized. While the entire class of nurses maintained a 3.0 grade point average in the nursing courses, several students were cited as honor graduates for achieving a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.7 in their nursing courses. They were Ashley Field, Glikeria Gaddis, Brian Hammes, Casey Harmon, Jennifer Howard, Rachel Malkoff, Jacqueline Powers, Crystal Sikes, Anaisbel Munoz de Los Santos, Susan Rhea-Zarb, Monica Vasquez and Lauren Wolff. Graduating with highest honors for maintaining a grade point average between 3.8 and 4.0 were Monserrat Castillo Romero, Katie Vespe and Andrea Valentine. Completing the program with a perfect 4.0 was Jamie Valentine.

Students were also recognized with awards during the ceremony. Winner of the Mack and Leora Duce Award for nursing excellence was Brianne Luetich. Based on nominations from her peers, Elizabeth Hernandez received the Caring Heart Award for exemplifying the three C’s of nursing - caring, compassion and concern. Earning gift cards from Monarch Uniforms and Scrubtopia Medical Outfitters were Anaisabel Munoz De Los Santos and Jennifer Howard, respectively, for achieving the highest score on their first attempt of the Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) online exam.

Upon receiving their nursing pins, the students then held the traditional candle lighting ceremony. Each nursing graduate, along with their semester faculty team leader, is presented a candle which is lit prior to citing the Nurse’s Pledge.

Graduating ADN students were: Sini Alvarez, Juana Barcenas, Shay Cantrell, Sarah Carroll, Zulema Carter, Monserrat Castillo-Romero, Tiffany DeWitt, Auhdesc Dixon, Ashley Field, Glikeria Gaddis, Brian Hammes, Casey Harmon, Elizabeth Hernandez, Jennifer Howard, Janet Jackson, Andrea Jimmerson, Gina Jones and Brit’ne King, Rachel Malakoff, James McGregor, Jamie Miller, Anaisabel Munoz de Los Santos, Marlene Nunez, Heather Piper, Jacqueline Powers, Daisy Reason, Susan Rhea-Zarb, Audrea Sanchez, Crystal Sikes, Amberly Skala, Andrea Valentine, Monica Vasquez, Sheisa Vazquez Aguirre, Katie Vespe, Bonnie Wilson and Lauren Wolff.

The CTC ADN program provides 60 credit hours in five semesters culminating with an Associate of Applied Science degree. It is a pre-licensure nursing program which enables the graduate to take the Texas Board of Nursing National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®) and prepares graduates for professional practice in a variety of health care settings. The ADN program provides classroom instruction and coordinated supervised clinical experiences in the nursing care of clients in local affiliated hospitals and health care agencies.