Northeast State Nursing faculty pins fall graduates

Published 4:48 pm Monday, December 11, 2023

The Northeast State Nursing program celebrated the spring class of graduates at the Pinning Ceremony held December 8 at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education.

The 2023 fall class of Nursing graduates are: Jennifer Bailey; Jamie Banner; Nicolina Beesley; Kasey Brashears; Lauren Cherry; Kane Covey; Summer Herrera; Renea Jessee; Mark Jones; Miranda McCracken; Tyler Moore; Whitney Price; Rikki Pritchard; Beatrice Rodrigues; Melanie Stephens; Kevin Tremblay; William Williamson; Jacy Wilson; and Ashley Wingerter.

Nursing faculty congratulated the class and pinned the Northeast State Nursing pin on the students’ white lab coats during the ceremony. The event included a slideshow of the class and program awards presented to students.

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“You have performed at a very high level during your time in the program,” associate professor Sandra Hooker told the students and audience members attending the ceremony. “This group has far exceeded our expectations.”

Among the student superlatives, Lauren Cherry received the Outstanding Student Award for her stellar academic work and encouraging fellow students throughout the program. Mark Jones received the Adult Learner of the Year Award. Renea Jessee earned the Program Support Award for a nursing student providing support and guidance to her peers.

In his remarks to the students, Northeast State President Dr. Jeff McCord described the pinning as a rite of passage for students into a profound profession. He thanked them for choosing Northeast State as a launching pad as they journeyed forward into their lives and careers.

“You are earning more than a degree, you are responding to a calling,” said McCord. “We, as a region, want to say thank you for responding to that calling.”

Students Cherry, Jessee, and Kevin Tremblay were recognized as student representatives for the graduating class. Cherry, Jessee, and Wingerter were active members of the Student Nursing Association club. Wingerter was also recognized for having perfect attendance at lectures and labs in the program.

Associate professor and director of Nursing, Dr. Johanna Neubrander, praised the graduating class for their hard work. She also noted the spring 2023 class of nursing students notched a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) national exam to earn their nursing licensure.

“We know this graduating class is just as ready as they were,” said Neubrander.

The history of the nursing “pin” traces back 1,000 years to the Maltese Cross. The Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist were the first to be pinned. Those pins recognized the knights as caregivers for sick and injured Crusaders. Named to honor the iconic nurse Florence Nightingale, the pledge marks a traditional pledge made by nurses dedicating their lives to their profession.

The nursing students graduating this fall will receive their associate of applied science degrees at the College’s fall commencement ceremony happening December 15 at the Blountville campus.