OBU's College of Nursing held its inaugural College of Nursing Commissioning Ceremony Thursday, Aug. 21, in the Craig-Dorland Theatre on OBU's campus in Shawnee. The event was part of a national initiative sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.
The OBU College of Nursing was selected as an inaugural school for this nationwide ceremony. Only 100 nursing programs out of 750 in the nation were selected.
The ceremony welcomes and initiates the new class of nursing students, which will graduate in 2016, and emphasizes patient-centered care. It also recognizes the nurse's responsibility to put the interests of patients first, and it affirms that this obligation begins on the first day of nursing school and continues throughout one's nursing career. The ceremony also promotes a culture of respect, dignity and compassion in both patients and health care professionals.
Fredonna Carthen, clinical pharmacology manager for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, gave the call to order and shared a song to begin the ceremony. Megan Smith, assistant professor of nursing, led the invocation.
Dr. Lepaine Sharp-McHenry, dean of the OBU College of Nursing, welcomed guests, while Dr. Robbie Henson, Lawrence C. and Marion Harris Chair of Nursing, professor of nursing and associate dean, gave an overview of the history of the OBU College of Nursing.
Linda Merkey, chairwoman of the OBU College of Nursing advisory board, gave the call to nursing. She addressed the students and discussed what it means to be a professional nurse, from the professional dress code, appearance standards for professional nurses and standards of care. She offered practical advice, encouraging students to address patients by name, introduce themselves with their credentials to patients, tell them how long you will care for them, explain what is happening with their care and thanking their patients for trusting them with their health care needs.
"I hope that each of you are blessed in your practice as you take care of your patients every day," she said. "I know you will bless each patient you touch as you become professional nurses."
McHenry then led the class of 2016 in the nursing pledge, affirming the compassion, professionalism, respect and the high standards by which they would undertake their nursing careers.
Travis DeWall, junior from Enid, Oklahoma, receives his commissioning pin from Dean Lepaine Sharp-McHenry.
The ceremony then turned to the pinning of the class of 2016, officially commissioning the nursing students. McHenry was joined by Leslie Hobbs and Dawn Westbrook, assistant professors of nursing, in leading the pinning ceremony.
Students recognized as part of the class of 2016 during the commissioning ceremony included Amy Bartel, Jessica Beach, April Brock, Macey Coppenbarger, Sheridan Crofford, Rachel Curry, Travis DeWall, Cyrena Downs, Sadie Dunaway, Rachel Evans, Sydney Fioretti, Wendy Fixico, Paige Fry, Kayley Hunter, Emily Joslin, Jennifer Land, Juliana Leppke, Rachel McCloy, Haley Nickerson, Amanda Owen, Macy Palmer, Callie Perdue, Caitlin Ross, Katelyn Stiles, Melanie Totty, Tracy Ward, Sarah Wilkerson, Rylea Wallace and Kylie Williams.
McHenry then presented the class of 2016 to the audience. Karren Cotter, assistant professor of nursing, closed the ceremony by leading the audience in The Doxology.