December 9, 2022
Wednesday night, 39 Pearl River Community College students graduated with their Associate Degree of Nursing and were recognized for their achievements. Hundreds of well-wishers including family and friends from near and far gathered in the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts for the ADN Pinning Ceremony.
PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood delivered a congratulatory message to the students. He spoke of the challenges faced by this class, the rigor of the program, and the dedication of the faculty and staff. Additionally, he congratulated the parents, significant others, and loved ones attending the ceremony for the support provided to the students.
“This is a very big day,” said Breerwood. “It takes everybody to complete this difficult and challenging program. Nurses are often a beacon of light in the most difficult times of darkness. We know that these students won’t let us down with that challenge and will represent Pearl River Community College well.”
Prior to the presentation of pins, five students were honored with different awards. David LaSarge was acknowledged as the recipient of the Fall 2022 Mississippi School of Nursing Scholarship. Logan Cuevas (traditional ADN program) and Jamie Groby (LPN to ADN program) were recognized for Academic Excellence. Alec Weary (traditional ADN program) and Heather Toohey (LPN to ADN program) were recognized for Dedication to Patient Care.
Additionally, the newly formed Hannah Laborde Memorial Scholarship was founded by the current nursing students in honor of Dr. Jennifer Laborde’s daughter Hannah who passed away in 2018. The recipient of the scholarship must have a servant’s heart like Hannah did which includes going above and beyond expectations. The first recipient was Alec Weary.
The presentation of pins to the graduates included the reading of dedication cards as they accepted their diploma, lamp, and pin. Several of the graduates received their pin from a family member who is also a graduate of the PRCC ADN program.
Five of the graduates were given cords in recognition of their membership in the Mississippi Organization for Students of ADN (MOSA) for one year of service with at least 50 community service credits. Six of the graduates earned a medallion having completed two years of service and a minimum of 100 community service credits.
MOSA is the only state chapter for students in the nation with the PRCC chapter participating in numerous educational, recruitment and community activities. Arlene Hinton led the chapter for this cohort.
After lighting their lamps, all registered nurses in the audience were invited to join the graduates in reciting the Nightingale Pledge led by Heather Toohey. This was followed by a thank you from Walker Brewer on behalf of the cohort. He thanked fellow classmates, family members and faculty for their support throughout their time in nursing school.
“You have shown us love, kindness, patience, and you have believed in us,” said Brewer. “You all had a greater impact on us than you realize. We’ve all worked very hard to get through school and we’ve had to rely on each other. For that, I am so grateful.”
The evening ended with closing thoughts from Dr. Arlene Jones, Director of Nursing Education. The pinning marked the last one in her long career at PRCC.
“This time of the year, the ADN program is wrapping up the end of fall semester and already beginning plans for spring,” said Jones. “It being my last semester has been different as I am reflecting on my time at PRCC. It seems like only yesterday when I interviewed for a faculty position; that was 16 years ago. Working here, especially with the nursing faculty, staff, and students has been the highlight of my career. I consider each and every one of them family.
“As to the students, I will miss them the most. They are the core of this program’s existence. In leaving, I would like them to remember – it is easy to quit. Those who stay the course will find the strength to finish. Finishing nursing school will change their life, it did mine!”
Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society of Nursing
Earlier in the afternoon, four nursing graduates were inducted into the Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society of Nursing. The ceremony was held in Malone Chapel.
Fall 2022 inductees are Logan Cuevas – Secretary, Jamie Groby – Vice President, David LaSarge – Treasurer, and Heather Toohey – President.
Guests attending the induction were given a brief history of the organization and chapter before the Capstone Project presentation. The group elected to create a video teaching different techniques utilized to screen individuals for scoliosis and unique treatment. The video was shared with local school nurses who shared it on the school website for students and parents.
Each inductee was presented with a pin and cords by nursing faculty members Mrs. Rebecca Pullens, Mrs. Brittny Radosta, and Mrs. Jaclyn Smith along with Dr. Jana Causey.
Fall 2022 Associate Degree of Nursing Graduates
Katelynn Arguelles, Walker Brewer, Kendra Buchanan**, Nina Byrd, Logan Cuevas**+, Allie Dossett, Jennifer Dugan**, Yoon Englert, Amerika Espinoza*, Carlene Evans, Jamie Groby**+, Kolby Havard, Shelby Hensarling, Ashton Herodes, Jada Hill, Arlene Hinton*, Alexis Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson, Gregory Kelley, Blaine Kirkpatrick, Erica Ladner, Kayla Ladner, Kristina Ladner, Trenton Ladner, David LaSarge*+, Emilee Long**, Jazmyne Mark, Niki Mason, Katie Moore, Jessica Morris, Casey Pierce, Rebecca Pugh, Katie Pullens*, Peri Stewart*, Caroline Taber, Heather Toohey**+, Kimberly Trosclair, Alec Weary, and Brittney West.
* Mississippi Organization for Students of ADN (MOSA) Cord & Medallion: 1- year member with 50+ community service credits
** Mississippi Organization for Students of ADN (MOSA) Cord & Medallion: 2- year member with 100+ community service credits
+ Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society of Nursing
Article by Laura O’Neill
Photo of ADN Pinning taken by Jolie Pervel. Photo of Alpha Delta Nu inductees by River Roderick.