Twenty-eight Associate Degree Nursing graduates left Jones College ready to continue to face the daily challenges nurses successfully handle minute by minute.
College administrators and faculty noted that nurses are used to quickly adapting to “anything thrown their way.” Jones College Associate Degree Nursing Division Chairwoman Erin Knight is especially proud of how these nursing graduates successfully navigated nursing courses and clinicals during a challenging year.
“We know that they will continue to adapt in the workplace like they did here in the classroom, in clinicals and through all of the changes with online learning during the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Knight said. “You worked hard and sacrificed to earn a degree. You answer to a higher calling, and you dedicated your life to serving others. We are confident you will fulfill your dreams. I challenge you to dream big.”
Jones College President Dr. Jesse Smith told the graduates’ families and friends in the audience that nursing education is the most important thing we do at Jones.
“Thank you for supporting these students and thank you for believing in us and what we do at Jones College,” Smith said. “We have high expectations, graduates, because you’re going to be there for people at their highest moments and for their lowest moments, and we expect you to do the right thing, exceptionally well. I commend you and appreciate your grit accepting the challenge during a pandemic with a smile and at those times when you weren’t smiling.”
Class of 2021 President Anthony Daniels of Hattiesburg encouraged his nursing graduate “family” to continue to pursue more education and “be the best nurses” that they are.
“Continue to grow and change. I challenge you to learn. Get as much knowledge as you can. No question is a stupid question. Give it all you got and help those nursing students in clinicals. Help them through those experiences. Let them see you do IV’s and the cool things on the floor. I challenge you to go out and touch lives. Even on your worst days or your best days, care for those patients like they’re your own. Give them all you got!” Daniels said.
Several students earned special recognition during the A.D.N. pinning ceremony, including Daniels. He was given a certificate of achievement as the nominee for the 2021 Outstanding Associate Degree Nursing Student by the Mississippi Chapter of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing. Nelson was awarded with a lifetime membership in the Mississippi Nurse Organization in recognition of her work with the Student Nurse Organization and the community.
Three students were honored for their perfect attendance during the five-semester program — Jemyla Fenton of Meridian, Taylor Magee of Collins and Juliann Nelson of Petal. The six students who were inducted into the Nursing Honor Society Alpha Delta Nu were Jamie Boleware of Collins, Hannah Bynum of Mendenhall, Daniels, Alyssa Mobbs of Hattiesburg and Callie Shows and Jeshaiah Stephens, both of Ellisville, were also recognized.
Per tradition, students also participated in the Lighting of the Lamp ceremony as a symbol of the passing on of knowledge from nursing faculty to graduates.