Nursing Graduates Honored in Winter Pinning Ceremony
Graduates of the Nurse Education Program were honored in a traditional nurse pinning ceremony on January 19 in the PCCC Theater on the Main Campus in Paterson. Nursing faculty, College administrators, and guests gathered to celebrate the new nurses as they closed one chapter of their lives and stood ready to embark on the next as professional nurses.
The speaker of the evening, Heather Griffiths, opened her remarks with an offer of thanks to the friends and families of the graduates: “Thank you for allowing them the space, the time, the grace to do this. It was a sacrifice. You allowed them the opportunity to join the ranks of healthcare professionals that make a difference every day in the lives of many people.”
In the meaningful pinning ceremony, the graduates, one-by-one, received their gold nursing pins along with a personal word of congratulations and encouragement from a member of the nursing faculty.
Four graduates were recognized for their outstanding performance with special awards. Marta Walska received the Academic Achievement award for having the highest GPA in the graduating class of Associate in Applied Science in Nursing Education degrees. The Professional Nursing Award went to Yuliana Camacho for displaying clinical excellence throughout the program. Jihane Bouta is the recipient of the Nurse Education Service Award, given for the graduate’s involvement in student and community activities. Patrick Kowalczyk received the Spirit of Nursing Award, given to the graduate who demonstrated professional involvement, leadership, and academic achievement.
Then as lights were dimmed , the new nurses each lighted a candle and, led by fellow graduate Chantel Baker, recited the International Council of Nurses’ Pledge together. Offering final words of encouragement and inspiration to her fellow graduates, Jihane Bouta delivered the student address to the assembly.
In PCCC tradition, the graduating nurses received a journal and advice from Professor Griffiths to chronicle the events of their first year working in the field. “Check back in January 2024,” said Professor Griffiths, “and see how much you’ve grown.”
The professor offered some additional words of wisdom to the eager new nurses. “Throughout the semester I have emphasized the importance of being competent, caring professionals,” she said. “But today, I want you to remember to take care of yourselves. The first year of nursing can be rough… Take a break, no matter how busy your day is. Spend time with family and friends. Laugh out loud. Be the best nurse you can be!”
The ceremony was followed by a joyful reception in the Paterson Room.
Congratulations to all the graduates, their families, and to the Nurse Education Faculty at PCCC.
Recipients of the Associate in Applied Science in Nurse Education Degree
Class of 2022 (January 2023 Ceremony)
Toni Ann Pareja
Matthew K. So