RCC’s practical nursing grads celebrate pinning ceremony

The Class of 2014 at their graduation from RCC’s practical nursing program.

The Class of 2014 at their graduation from RCC’s practical nursing program.

“Last night [July 28] the practical nursing faculty graduated the largest class in Rappahannock Community College’s recent history,” said Charles Smith, RCC’s dean of health services, in a congratulatory e-mail addressed to the whole college. “There were 26 graduates with many friends and family in attendance. The venue was perfect (Essex High School) and the ceremony outstanding . . . everything went off without a hitch.” Smith added his thanks “to all the college family for your part in making these students’ goals come to fruition.”

Students who received pins this year, pledging to devote their lives to “service and the high ideals of the nursing profession,” were Odell Bell, Jr., Guadalupe Perez, and Crystal Smith, all of Essex County; Heather Bankston, Tiffany Davis, Victoria Davis, Felicia Hall, and Lindsay Lawrence, all of Gloucester County; Katelyn Baldacci, Hanover County; Nisa Harris and Corryn Rice, both of King and Queen County; Amber Allison, King George County; Bonnie Bromley, Tiffany Carter, and Terry Tignor, all of Lancaster County; Devin Cosby, Shekinah Parker, Valerie Ledford-Shelton, and Stacey Williamson, all of Mathews County; Sarah Rose, Middlesex County; Shameika Polk and Rachel Thomas, Northumberland County; Kristy Adkinson, Richmond County; Benzena Gaines-Street, West Point; and Robert Baylor, Jr., and

Alexandria Jackson, both of Westmoreland County. Many of the graduates requested friends or family members who are already nurses to honor them by awarding them their pins.

Two members of the Class of 2014 were invited to play special roles in the program: Robert Baylor led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Terry Tignor introduced the keynote speaker for the ceremony. This was Susan Perry, who is a graduate of RCC’s associate-degree nursing program as well as teaching in the practical nursing program. Other members of the practical nursing faculty are Sara Headley, Rosa Rousch, program director Jan Stephens, Karen Taliaferro (who directs the college’s nurse aide program), and Rebecca White.

RCC’s three-semester practical nursing program is open to men and women who show evidence of interest, motivation, and aptitude in health care. The program includes lectures, labs, and clinical site rotations, and covers the subjects of sociology, psychology, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition and human development, health changes, medical terminology, and drug dosage calculations. Students participate in clinical rotations that include obstetrics and gynecology, mental health, pediatrics, medical-surgical nursing, and long-term care nursing. Upon completion of the program, they are eligible to apply to the Virginia State Board of Nursing to take the licensure exam.