In a tradition symbolizing the transition from student life to a professional role, 28 OBU nursing students participated in the Spring 2012 Nurses' Pinning Ceremony Thursday, May 10, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium.
Designed by the Class of 1956 -- the university's first class of nursing graduates -- the OBU nursing pin is awarded to graduates by Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the Collge of Nursing. The pin features a white Roman cross centered on a black background.
The Pinning Address was presented by Dr. Carol Mannahan, who serves at Oklahoma City University and has served on the faculty of the OBU Graduate School. Mannahan earned a diploma in nursing before serving in the U.S. Army for two years. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing, a master's degree with a management focus and a doctorate in higher education administration. Her clinical work has been in a variety of medical-surgical areas. Mannahan worked with the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing for 19 years.
Mannahan compared the journey of the nursing graduates' education to the characters in the story, "The Wizard of Oz." In the story, the characters began their journey through Oz frightened, filled with self-pity, dependent on others, hopeless, powerless and feeling alone. By the end of their journey, the characters had transformed into being confident, assertive, independent, intelligent, proud, compassionate and courageous.
In much the same way, Mannahan said, the nursing graduates have transformed from students who may have begun their education feeling overwhelmed and have completed their bachelor's degree program as confident professionals.
She offered thoughts about the graduates' journeys and related them to the "Oz" characters: They both accept the reality of their present situation and adjusted as necessary; they accept the wise counsel of others; they accept responsibility for their own behavior and responses; and they enjoy the fun on the way.
Mannahan said the most important thought she wanted to offer the graduates about their passage through education and future endeavors is to invite Jesus to join them on the journey. She referred to John 15:5, in which Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit."
"He wants us to bear much fruit, and I believe we are well situated in nursing to bear fruit," Mannahan said. "We can have a job so we can meet the daily needs for ourselves and our families, we have a career so we are contributing to the bigger picture, but we also have a mission that's fabulous. It's a built-in opportunity to serve and to have Jesus on the journey."
Following the address, seniors Julie Griffin and Jackie Pahl offered a musical reflection. Graduates were pinned by Bolhouse and given a single yellow rose by Dawn Westbrook, assistant professor of nursing.
Krista Ranck, instructor of nursing, delivered the charge to the students. She encouraged the graduates to trust God when he said, "I will never leave you" (Hebrews 13:5). She urged them to receive grace with humility, and to understand the need for grace never ends.
The ceremony included an invocation by Dr. Carolyn Cole, Crouch-Mathis professor of literature; a welcome from Dr. David W. Whitlock, president of OBU; and a benediction by Dr. John Nichols, associate professor of mathematics.
Nursing seniors who received their pins included: Sarah Elizabeth Barnett, Oklahoma City; Matthew S. Bates, Shawnee, Okla.; Bethany L. Burke, Dallas, Ore.; Amy Rae Courtney, Piedmont, Okla.; Ryan R. Cox, Sand Springs, Okla.; Jennifer Nichole Dickerson, Marlow, Okla.; Aubrie Lane Dolliver, Prairie Village, Kan.; Constance Marie Evans, Houston, Texas; Emily Beth Fitzgerald, Tulsa, Okla.; Luke Fogarty, Midwest City, Okla.; Robyn Dawn Gaunder, Newalla, Okla.; Julie Lizbeth Griffin, Tulsa; and Jennifer M. Jupin, Moore, Okla.
Also receiving their pins were Shiloh Marie Layn, Kingfisher, Okla.; Jamie L. Lee, Midwest City; Ashley Ruth Leonard, Whittier, Calif.; Amanda Renae Loewen, Wichita, Kan.; Cheri LeAnne Lowry, Tecumseh, Okla.; Jacquelyne Therese Pahl, Plano, Texas; Courtney E. Richart, Moore; Lexie Faye Searles, Chouteau, Okla.; Jordon L. Sexton, Midwest City; Chase D. Sprinkle, Grand Prairie, Texas; Victor M. Tackett, Coffeyville, Kan.; Margo M. Thomason, Tulsa; Jennifer Diane Tiger, Shawnee; Lauren Nicole Whitlow, Bentonville, Ark.; and Brittany Danielle Willson, Shawnee.