PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville Elliott School of Nursing recently honored 32 new nurses during the 32nd annual nursing pinning ceremony.
Students were pinned by nursing faculty, reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge against the backdrop of a beautiful candle-lit ceremony. The traditional ceremony dates back to the 1860s and was adopted by Nightingale as a way to honor her most outstanding graduate nurses.
Carlee Jlynn Smith of Staffordsville was the recipient of the Elizabeth Akers Elliott Award, selected by the nursing faculty as the student who “best exemplifies the caring compassion and empathy that are the very spirit of nursing.” The award also holds special significance for the family of Elizabeth Akers Elliott, as they established a trust fund to launch the nursing program in her memory. The Elliott family has been faithful in supporting the program since its inception.
The Outstanding Nursing Student Award, an honor bestowed by fellow classmates to the nursing student they would “most like to have care for themselves or their family,” was presented to Stacy R. Collins of Lexington. Louann Marie Collins of Pikeville received the Vivian Day Award, presented to the graduate earning the highest grade-point average in nursing courses.
The UPIKE Student Nurses Association held fundraising events throughout the year and presented a donation in memory of Ross and Dixie Damron to the Elkhorn City Fire Department to honor the efforts of first responders in emergency situations.
The class speakers, Keith Anthony DeBoard and Jeremy Osborne, recognized three retiring nursing faculty.
Mary Simpson, Ph.D., dean of the Elliott School of Nursing, commended the retiring faculty for their longtime service and commitment to students. Reflecting on the transition, Simpson said the challenge will be to write the next chapter of the nursing program to ensure continued success for another 32 years.