Nursing program graduates wait for pin

Another class of nursing students has earned their associate degrees and will receive their ceremonial pins May 12.

The nursing pinning ceremony is a milestone for the 42 nursing students and is the next step toward their careers, said Nursing professor and Assistant Program Director Terri Walker.

During the ceremony, faculty will speak about the importance of this landmark and welcome the graduates into the nursing profession, Walker said.


The traditional ceremony starts at 6 p.m. and the Career Ladder Pathway ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m in the dining area of the Student Union.

In the past, male nursing students would receive a stripe on their shirt, while the females would receive hats. Walker said the pin is a more unisex symbol for a more modern ceremony.

The pin is symbolic of the momentous achievement, she said.

Second semester nursing student Holly Hudson believes the pinning ceremony is special for students because it’s not only a graduation but also a success acknowledgement.

“I can’t wait for the day I’m pinned,” Hudson said.

“It is one of the main things nursing students are working toward.”

OCCC ranks among the national leaders in its pass rate for the program, nursing professor Kay Wetmore said.

The nursing program class consists of a 9-credit-hour course per semester, Wetmore said, but students may spend up to 23 hours or more weekly of just hands-on time, not including studying.

“Being a former student of this program, it is exciting to watch students receiving their pins,” Wetmore said.

Walker agreed, saying it’s a great feat for nursing students because, upon completion, they are eligible to work in the real world or pursue further education in the same field.

It could be considered a steppingstone toward advanced degrees.

For more information about the college’s nursing program, visit

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