Nursing Grads Get Pins and Reminder

In one of OBU's distinctive academic traditions, 32 senior nursing students received their OBU nursing pins at the School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony Friday afternoon.

The pinning ceremony celebrates the transition from the role of student to the role of nurse, according to Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the School of Nursing. The rectangular pin, designed by the nursing program's first graduating class in 1956, is reserved for OBU graduates. It features a white Roman cross centered on a black background. Bolhouse placed the pin on the white nursing uniforms worn by the students, in front of an audience of approximately 300 people.

Gerald Milligan, a retired Southern Baptist missionary who served in medical and education mission posts for more than 32 years, was guest speaker for the service. He reminded the nursing students of their opportunity to advocate for their patients.

Milligan is project director for The Salt and Light Partnership, a multi-agency evangelical effort working with international people groups. He previously taught nursing and worked in hospitals in Egypt, Jordan, the Gaza Strip, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates.

Milligan compared the students' accomplishments to the Apostle Paul's biblical command in 2 Timothy 2:15, where he encouraged Timothy to "study to show yourself approved."

"We're here today to affirm your adherence to Paul's admonition to young Timothy," he said. "The very fact that we're here proves to the world that you have studied."

The retired missionary stressed that Paul added "to show yourself approved."

"The education you've received more than adequately covers the ‘approved' aspect," said Milligan.

Noting a reported 3,000-nurse shortage in Oklahoma, Milligan told the graduates they were model candidates for filling the shortage.

"As a nurse, I wish there were no shortage. As a nurse educator, I wish there were 3,000 more, just like you, who have received an education which teaches you to be life-long learners, problem solvers, decision makers, change agents, and - something you've heard from probably the first day of class - patient advocates," he said. "We need more nurses like that.

Graduating seniors who received the pin include: Karinna Madai Avila, Broken Arrow; Hilary Lauren Barker, Oklahoma City; Melanie Lynn Bristow, Cypress, Texas; Julie Kristin Brooksher, Oklahoma City; Emily Kaye Cartwright, Haltom City, Texas; Amanda Dawn Curl, Mount Vernon, Mo.; Kristen Rita Dearing, Oklahoma City; Kimberly Joanne Deitrick, Collinsville; Lyndsey Chelan Dras, Buena Vista, Colo.; Amanda Marie Hall, Buena Park, Calif.; Staci Leann Harp, Denison, Texas; Hannah Ruth Heavener, Shawnee; Emily Blair Hodges, Weatherford, Texas; Samuel Ross Jones, Muskogee; Nicole Christine Kuhns, Wichita, Kan.; Ronald Edwin Lewis, Shawnee; Blessy Mathews, Shawnee; Stephanie Leigh McPherson, Beaumont, Texas; Emmaculate Ngwe Ndifor, Laurel, Md.; Stephen Derek Nettles, Lawton; Rachel Elizabeth Owens, Kennewick, Wash.; Lauren Brooke Payne, Shawnee; Amanda Tracy Ryan, Shawnee, Kan.; Meagan Elizabeth Shepherd, El Paso, Texas; Erin Lea Short, Hooker; Kelli Welborn Simpson, Meeker; Julie Annette Stevens, St. Charles, Mo.; Rachel Nicole Stuard, Santa Ynez, Calif.; Kari Elizabeth Tague, Topeka, Kan.; Donna Marie Urbassik, Norman; Mandy Diane Winkler, Belton, Texas; and Anne Catherine Winters, Norman.

The nursing graduates will receive their bachelor of science degrees during OBU's Spring Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17, in Raley Chapel.