OBU honored 30 graduating nurses at the College of Nursing's Pinning Ceremony Thursday, May 14, at 3 p.m. The ceremony took place in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus in Shawnee.
Dr. Tony Yates, assistant professor of natural science, led the invocation.
OBU President David W. Whitlock welcomed the graduates and their guests. Whitlock told the graduates that their profession is ministry in its truest sense.
"It's so clear that you'll be integrating your faith and your career in this great calling of nursing," he said. "What a privilege to be a nurse and to be a nurse who was educated in the field by Christian professors, with a model of nursing that demonstrates this is about meeting people at their greatest point of need. I rejoice that each of you has reached this milestone. Well done."
Dr. Lepaine Sharp-McHenry, dean of the OBU College of Nursing, shared the meaning behind nursing pinnings. "This is a ceremony that celebrates the transition from the student role to the professional role," she said. "The pinning ceremony is a rite of passage into a profession built on caring."
Beth Pauchnik, chief administrative officer, managing director, and general counsel for Integris Health, delivered the address to graduates.
"You are truly blessed to be entering our profession in an amazing time in this nation's health care system," she said. "Each of you, in your own unique way, will not only be a witness to all of this, but you can be a part of that change as you touch each one of your patients as a new provider. I implore you, do not stand on the sidelines."
"Success in our profession is simple: it's taking the best possible care of our patients," she said. "If you take away one thing from my comments today, remember one word: balance. As you move forward, you will walk a delicate line between tradition and technology, between computer skills and compassionate service. Be very mindful of this balance."
Following the address, graduating nurses received their pins from McHenry, including Joyce Simisola Aiyeojenku, McKinney, Texas; Natalee Cook, Bixby, Oklahoma; Hannah Rene Doss, Enid, Oklahoma; Leah Ann Encinas, Perkins, Oklahoma; Tyler Stafford Faulk, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Molly Breken Foreman, Flower Mound, Texas; Kaelie Lyn Fredrick, Branson, Missouri; Kelsey Leigh Gressett, Newalla, Oklahoma; Paige Noel Groves, New Castle, Colorado; Kristin Nicole Hamman, Edmond, Oklahoma; Jenna Leann Huckabee, Rockwall, Texas; Maci Lynn Huffman, Ada, Oklahoma; Hannah Rae Johnson, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Ryan Joseph Kruse, Perkasie, Pennsylvania; Shelby Jo Layn, Kingfisher, Oklahoma; Adam Joseph Mann, Rifle, Colorado; Peter Jared McHaney, Mansfield, Texas; Katlin May Medlin, Olathe, Kansas; Kelsey Lynn Melton, Stroud, Oklahoma; Eukyung Annie Min, Seoul, South Korea; Christopher Donald Moore, Flower Mound, Texas; Kamau Charles Terumi Mosley, Norman, Oklahoma; Brittany Renae Rodriguez, Lexington, Oklahoma; Casie Shay Smith, The Woodlands, Texas; Zaira Andrea' Sturdivant, Lawton, Oklahoma; Kathryn Elizabeth Taylor, Lenexa, Kansas; Laura Emily Tessendorf, Topeka, Kansas; Abby Lyn Tillman, Henessey, Oklahoma; Kourtney Elizabeth Trent, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Benjamin Alan Whitmore, Shawnee.
Leslie Hobbs, assistant professor of nursing and 1992 OBU alumna, delivered the charge to the students. Dr. Bobby Kelly, Ruth Dickinson Chair of Bible and professor of religion, closed with the benediction.
The OBU nursing program was the first baccalaureate nursing program in Oklahoma and the first baccalaureate program in Oklahoma accredited by the National League of Nursing. It has maintained continuous accreditation (currently through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) throughout its history. Founded in 1952, the first graduation took place in 1956 with 10 students. Since then, the OBU College of Nursing has graduated more than 1,200 nurses with baccalaureate nursing degrees. The College of Nursing broke ground on their future home, Stavros Hall, earlier in the day. The building will be located north of Shawnee Hall on OBU's campus.