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RCC nursing graduates pinned

On Friday, May 11, Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing program awarded pins to 33 students.

RCC Nursing Graduates at Pinning Ceremony

RCC Nursing Graduates at Pinning Ceremony

Program coordinator Dr. Wendy Edson welcomed the students and their families to the ceremony (held at the White Stone Church of the Nazarene in Lancaster County), and expressed her thanks to the other members of the nursing faculty—Mary Dorsey, Sara Headley, Natalie Johnson, Robin Koch, Nancy Langhorne, Carrie Lewis, Debra Moore, Rosa Roush, Colette Smith, Mary Swann, and Daphne Terrell—for their excellent instruction and guidance. The featured speaker was nurse practitioner Teresa Williams of Riverside Health System.

A few words of encouragement and praise from RCC president Dr. Elizabeth Crowther were followed by remarks from two members of the Class of 2012, Patricia Beasley and Kelly McCartney. Both of these focused on the unique bond among nursing students, who support one another unreservedly during the two years when they are so busy at school—“our family away from our families,” McCartney called them.

A number of awards were presented in recognition of outstanding members of the class. Perhaps the most important were the Catherine Courtney Awards, named in honor of the founding coordinator of RCC’s ADN program, who retired in 2005 after over 30 years of service. The recipients of this award—one from each RCC campus—must exhibit exceptional leadership qualities, an outgoing personality, and a desire to serve the community, as well as maintaining high academic standards. For the Glenns Campus, the Courtney Award went to Samantha Schaible, and for the Warsaw Campus, to Alicia Jims.

Awards were also given for “Outstanding Clinical Achievement.” Villette Lee (Glenns Campus) and Laurel Davenport (Warsaw Campus) received this honor as students who came to the ADN program after first graduating from RCC’s Practical Nursing program, and Rene Hawkey (Glenns) and Stephanie Johnson (Warsaw) received it as students who began their studies with the ADN program. Graduating summa cum laude—with a grade-point average over 3.8—were Donna Brown, Alicia Jims, and Samantha Schaible; Tami Hawksworth and Julie White graduated magna cum laude (between 3.5 and 3.8), while Patricia Beasley, Gwendolyn Bevans, Rene Hawkey, Stephanie Johnson, Jessica Kazimer, Villette Lee, Stephanie Miller, and Karen Turner all topped 3.5 to graduate cum laude.

The Program Appreciation Award, which honors members of the college community who have contributed significantly to the success of the ADN program, proved impossible to bestow this year. So many gave so generously of their time and resources that, as assistant professor of nursing Mary Dorsey said, “we weren’t sure how to pick just one.” She added, “I think the program has improved exponentially over the past four years. Each graduating class has been stronger than the one before, and the college has certainly improved its facilities and equipment. Our goal is to graduate nurses that can seamlessly transition into practice at the beginning level—and we are accomplishing that.”

The spiritual side of nursing was acknowledged with prayers offered for the support of these graduates in their mission of providing loving care to their future patients, and the ceremony concluded with a recitation of the Nurse’s Pledge and a benediction by Mary Swann. In addition to being a member of RCC’s nursing faculty, Swann is chaplain at Rappahannock General Hospital in Kilmarnock.

Nursing instructor Sara Headley remarked that the ADN program’s success is attested by the fact that the Class of 2011 achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the state nursing exams (NCLEX), each of them passing at the first attempt. Members of the Class of 2012 will be taking the NCLEX from now through August; Headley confidently expects an excellent performance from them also.

Those receiving pins were: Karen Turner* and Lauren Wells, Essex County; Donna Brown***, Jessica Carr, Tami Hawkesworth**, Rene Hawkey*, Brittany Leote, Angela Romero, Samantha Schaible***, Abby Smith, Amy Smith, Lorraine Walsh, and Julie White**, all of Gloucester County; Ashley Groome, Stephanie Miller*, and Amanda Wilcox, all of King and Queen County; Bambi Earls and Stephanie Johnson*, King William County; Laurel Davenport and Mary Carpenter, Lancaster County; Christopher Dehoux, Sara Fravel, Carrie Lee, and Suzanne Leigh, all of Mathews County; Patricia Beasley* and Villette Lee*, Middlesex County; Nicole Harding, Jessica Kazimer*, and Lisa Lewis, all of Northumberland County; Stacey Snyder, Richmond County; and Gwendolyn Bevans*, Alicia Jims***, and Kelly McCartney, all of Westmoreland County.


*cum laude—requires a grade-point average of 3.2 to 3.49

**magna cum laude—requires a grade-point average of 3.5 to 3.79

***summa cum laude—requires a grade-point average over 3.8


Photo: Graduates of RCC’s associate-degree nursing program, Class of 2012, received their pins at a ceremony on May 11. First row, left to right: Samantha Schaible, Tami Hawkesworth, Laurel Davenport, Jessica Kazimer, Jessica Carr, Mary Carpenter, Stephanie Miller, Villette Lee, Carrie Lee, Abby Smith, Karen Turner, and Stacey Snyder. Second row, left to right: Stephanie Johnson, Lorraine Walsh, Suzanne Leigh, Angela Romero, Amy Smith, Ashley Groome, Donna Brown, Patricia Beasley, Bambi Earls, and Julie White. Third row, left to right: Alicia Jims, Lauren Wells, Kelly McCartney, Lisa Lewis, Amanda Wilcox, Christopher Dehoux, Brittany Leote, Rene Hawkey, Nicole Harding, and Sara Fravel.

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