PIQUA — Five Sidney natives, along with four natives of the surrounding area, were honored with their classmates at Edison State Community College’s nursing graduation pinning ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Piqua campus.
The local graduates were Emily Ivey, Sasha Jones, Keya Lee, Kaila Pleiman, and Keara Strayer, of Sidney; Mindy Freistuhler, of Wapakoneta; Casey Albers, of Russia; Angela Prenger, of Minster; and Shane Rickert, of Anna.
The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition in which the graduate nurse is presented to family and friends as a professional who is about to practice nursing, and the graduate is usually “pinned” by the faculty members who have worked with the students throughout their course of study. Each school has a unique pin, which serves as a symbol of the successful completion of a rigorous curriculum, which prepares its graduates to administer to the sick and injured and promote health through the practice of nursing.
Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson provided opening remarks praising the work of the nursing students and those who have supported them along the way.
“These nursing students are unique residents who have responded to a unique calling in life. That calling has sustained them through the challenges of our nursing school, and I hope that it will sustain them as they begin the practice of nursing. Edison State is proud to have you as our graduates, and we know that you will reflect well on our nursing program and our College.”
Class Representative Dalton Peak, of Piqua, provided words of encouragement to his classmates.
“The question I get all the time is, ‘Why do I want to be a nurse?’ To be honest, this is the first time I have been able to answer it. But I found the right answer. I do it for love; we all do this for love.”
“I asked some of my classmates why they went into nursing,” Peak continued. “And they responded with stories affecting the people they love. For example, some of us have had children pass away at young ages, and that special nurse was there to help them through one of the hardest times in their life and have now changed their lives completely.”
“Another story I heard was giving birth and being cared for by the loving and nurturing nurses who inspired them to change their career from a pre-school teacher to now becoming a nurse.”
Peak went on to tell a personal story that affected his life and influenced him to become a nurse.
“My stepmother passed away in 2013 from Type II Diabetes. In 2008, my cousins were diagnosed with a fatal genetic condition similar to what you would consider Alzheimer’s. Both of these stories have influenced my decision to become a nurse.”
“When everyone else checks out, the nurses are the only ones who hold their ground and fights for the patients care. It’s the selfless love. I believe that one nurse from our past has made such an impact on our lives that we now are moving on to helping others the way they have helped us.”
Each of the 32 graduates had the opportunity to submit a word of thanks to those who have supported their education, which was read as they received their pin from an Edison State nursing faculty member. Many used the opportunity to share individual stories of sacrifice and triumph over adversity, the bonds that were formed between classmates and the sincere appreciation held for the Edison State nursing faculty.
Graduates of the program will move on to the next phase of their career, which involves taking the registered nurse licensing exam and seeking employment.