JACKSON, Tenn. – May 24, 2004 – Union University’s School of Nursing honored its graduating class Friday evening in a special dedication and recognition service.
John Borden, adjunct faculty member and a 1982 graduate of the School of Nursing, presented the keynote address. Borden gave a challenge to look beyond the obvious for solutions, follow dreams and touch the lives of others. “Venture forward with passion and live your lives to the fullest,” he said.
As the graduates prepare to enter the rapidly changing field of health care, Borden encouraged them to “learn to develop your relationship with change. Open your arms and learn to accept it.”
The service – traditionally called a pinning ceremony – is full of symbolism for the students, explained Tharon Kirk, interim dean of the School of Nursing. “The receiving of the nursing pin, the lighting of the nursing lamp, and the recitation of the nursing pledge is a means for each nursing graduate to dedicate him or herself to the profession of nursing; to the promotion of wellness in individuals, families and groups; and to the care of those ill and dying,” she said.
Each received a pin to be worn with the nursing uniform and specially designed for Union’s bachelor of science in nursing program. Graduates are also presented with lamps – representative of that carried by Florence Nightingale – donated by Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and New Testaments donated by the Gideon Auxiliary.
Union President David S. Dockery said, “The nursing program at Union University is demanding and rigorous. Those who complete the program are well-prepared to provide excellent service in the health care world. Completing the Union program speaks volumes about who these students are and the quality of their character.”
Two nursing students were recognized for awards received at the Awards Day Chapel on May 7: Jennifer Vandiver of Milan, Tenn., for the Georgia Wilson Nursing Award and Catherine Lee of Cordova, Tenn., for the Academic Excellence Medal in Nursing.
Other students were honored during the ceremony:
Amy Rennie of Vacaville, Calif., received the Fannie J. Watt, RN, Award in Psychiatric Nursing, which is presented to the graduate who has demonstrated the greatest potential for effective practice in a psychiatric setting.
Carlyn Layton of Brewton, Ala., received the Nursing Faculty Award, which is presented to the outstanding graduate who has demonstrated an above-average level of theoretical knowledge and a high degree of skill in the clinical setting.
Cathy Rogers of Jackson, Tenn., was awarded the Terry Robinson Nursing Award, which is presented annually to the student who has evidenced an extraordinary degree of motivation and persistence toward his or her goal, was awarded to Cathy Rogers.
Sigma Theta Tau International – Nu Lambda Chapter Leadership Award was given to Melisssa Haynes from Henderson Tenn. The award is presented to a graduating senior who is a member of the Nu Lambda Chapter and demonstrates the greatest potential for leadership in professional nursing.
The Emily Saffel Medallion was presented to Deborah Garland from Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Emily Saffel Nursing Award was established in memory of Emily Saffel to recognize the kind of nursing care her family hoped she received during her brief life. The recipient must exemplify a Christian lifestyle and nursing application of the characteristics of compassion and caring.
Michael Payne, class president of the School of Nursing, presented a plaque to recognize the dedication of the nursing faculty as well as a DVD/VCR unit purchased by the class of 2004 for the nursing laboratory.