The Lowcountry has gained 32 new nurses.
The University of South Carolina Beaufort hosted its second annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony Wednesday at the university's Center for the Arts in Beaufort.
The 32 pre-licensure students received pins, which are typically worn as part of a nurse’s uniform to identify the nurse’s school. According to a news release from USCB, the pins convey the nurses are educated, trained and experienced in their field. Nursing faculty members usually give the graduates pins as a symbolic welcome to the profession.
Nursing graduates Kati Clark and Cayte Johnson both said in the release that the rigorous nursing school curriculum was like a two-year boot camp. Going through it made the students as close as family.
“When my baby daughter was born, she immediately had 29 mothers and three fathers,” Johnson said in the release.
Both USCB Chancellor Jane Upshaw and USCB nursing professor Joy Lauerer spoke to the students.
Upshaw urged the students to continue to be the best they can be, and pay their successes forward by mentoring those who enter nursing after them, according to the release.
Lauerer told a story of how a nurse had helped her. Lauerer had breast cancer, and was worried before her mastectomy. She told the students she was alone, crying and scared when a nurse asked her to share her fears. She told the nurse she was worried the cancer had spread, and that chemotherapy was in her future.
“The nurse said, ‘Thoughts are powerful things, so let's think that your body is fighting this; that you will leave this surgery very strong,’ ” Lauerer told the students. She said those words gave her a sense of peace.
Awards were given to some of the top students.
- Cassi Kilpatrick won the Palmetto Gold Nursing Award.
- Amanda Henry won the USCB Nursing Program award.
- Kathryn Byrd won the Nursing Program Clinical Award.
According to the release, the majority of last year’s graduating nurses have remained in the Lowcountry.