• 61°

Catawba nursing graduates get their pins in a modified ceremony

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY – Tuesday morning was filled with elbow bumps and air hugs as Catawba College took some time to honor its latest nursing graduates.

The graduates lined up in cars with their families, stepping out to receive their pins, a gift from the nursing faculty, blessings and congratulations from Rev. Kenneth Clapp, the college’s chaplain, senior vice president and interim president. The annual ceremony went on with changes to comply with social distancing rules. Everyone wore masks, graduates spent most of their time in their vehicles and Clapp wore a glove for delivering the blessings.

Department Chair Valerie Rakes said the ceremony is usually held in Catawba’s chapel. This year, it was moved in front of the chapel.

“The interesting thing about this class is they all have jobs, and all the healthcare systems are ready for them to go to work,” Rakes said, adding the program wants to honor the graduates because of their final year being cut short.

Gift boxes given to each graduate contained a lamp. During a normal ceremony the graduates would light them and say the Nightingale Pledge, but the faculty filmed the ceremony separately and said the pledge. The recording was given to the students.

Florence Nightingale is recognized as the founder of modern nursing who lived most of her life in the United Kingdom in 1800s and served as a nurse in the Crimean War.

The college also gives out an award named for after Nightingale to one graduating senior. Rakes said the department looks for a leader who shoes compassion and integrity. This year’s winner was Paige Carmac.

“She has gone over and beyond anyone that I’ve ever seen that received that award,” Rakes said. “She never thinks of herself, she is a selfless individual.

Assistant Professor Alison Atwater said the nursing graduation is usually a formal event for for the college, and she was uneasy going into Tuesday’s event. Afterward, Atwater said she thought the ceremony was still unique and special for the graduates.

Several faculty members said they were disappointed they could not hug their students due to the pandemic.

Graduate Autumn McGee said she was happy to still be able to take part in the ceremony as well as see her professors and classmates despite the circumstances. She will work as a medical surgical nurse at Atrium Health Cabarrus.

Madi Lilly, another graduate, said she wished it could have been done the traditional way, but was still glad the college held the ceremony. Lilly will become a travel nurse.

“I’ve always wanted to go see the world, and now I have a profession that will allow me to do it,” Lilly said.

Graduate Cassie Damery will become a nurse at Atrium Health University City. She said this is an important time for health care workers to band together to fight something the world has not seen in a long time.

Comments

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting