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Idaho State University Associate Degree Registered Nurse graduates recognized at pinning and awards ceremony

Posted August 4, 2009

On Aug. 1, 30 Associate Degree Registered Nurse (ADRN) program graduates received their long-awaited graduation presentations and nursing pins. The pinning ceremony is a time-honored right-of-passage for graduates of nursing programs as they enter the nursing profession.

The Idaho State University College of Technology ADRN pin was chosen by students in the first class and initially presented to the first ADRN graduates in December 2005. Only ISU, ADRN graduates are allowed to wear this exquisite pin which symbolizes a lifelong commitment to professional nursing traditions and ideals.

Held at the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center in Pocatello, the afternoon celebration was a traditional ceremony that included graduation presentations, the official pinning of each graduate, the lighting of candles, and the recitation of the nursing pledge. Health Occupations Chair Paul Peterson commended graduates for having taken the road less traveled, and greeted all attendees. Class President Luke DeVoe gave a welcome on behalf of the class and graduate Andrew Adcock spoke of the journey each graduate has taken, throughout this very rigorous professional nursing program.

In addition to the graduates’ friends and loved ones, attendees included education, nursing, and healthcare representatives from throughout Idaho.

During the pinning ceremony, seven special awards were presented and recipients were recognized and honored. Award presentations were made by Professor and Program Director Linda Smith and faculty members JoAnne Pearce and Sandy Knighton.  Graduates receiving these prestigious awards are as follows:

The ADRN critical thinking award was presented to the ADRN graduate who demonstrated a superior ability to think through difficult, challenging patient care issues and implement strategies that were life saving:  June Mortenson

The Nursing Pioneer Award was presented to a graduate, recognizing demonstrated courage and commitment to pave the way for others:   Luke DeVoe

Carla L. Dando Award of Excellence, named in honor of the former Health Occupations Chair, represents excellence in the area of scholarship and written communication. This year, Brandi Allred was named.

The Nursing Spirit Award has as its focus nursing leadership, academic performance, and all-around excellence:  Joe Poston and Kristiana Webb were the awardees.

The Perseverance Award recognizes integrity, dependability, and conscientiousness in the face of difficult challenges, as well as an ability to help others overcome adversity: Tiffany Larsen

Professional Nursing Award recognizes a desire to elevate professional nursing standards.  Sonia Hill was the honored recipient.

The Idaho State Journal Health Research Award was presented for the second time this year and honored the professional writing talents of two co-authors of the Idaho State Journal health article titled, “Untreated GERD can lead to problems,” (ISJ April 26, 2009 pg A10). The talented authors of this article were Cynthia Oswald and Kristana Webb.

Nearly every week, ADRN students publish health-promoting articles in the Sunday “Healthy Living” section of the Idaho State Journal. Ian Fennell, Journal Editor had the very difficult task of choosing just one winning manuscript. He explained, “All of the students’ health articles are well done, crisp, informative, and intelligently written. All are engaging. But one article stood out. As Fennell announced the winning article, he also presented each co-author with a free ISJ subscription.

Each ADRN graduate co-wrote and published two Idaho State Journal healthy living articles. Topics included preventing GERD, hyperthermia, and arthritis; importance of chest X-rays, EKGs, and CBC assessments; healthy hand-washing; lowering dietary salt and increasing calcium; wearing eye protection, seat belts, and helmets; preventing falls for elders, and many others.

Each of the ADRN graduates shared with the audience photos of their journey through the nursing program as well as personal heart-felt thank yous to those who made their nursing success possible.  Program Director Dr. Linda Smith explained, “The pinning ceremony is a formal recognition of the dedication to professional nursing each graduate has demonstrated. We are proud of each of these graduates and honor their ability to think through difficult patient care issues.”  Dr. Peterson added: “We are proud of the hard work accomplished by each of our 30 graduates this year.  We are also grateful for the dedicated, full time faculty in the ADRN program, and for their commitment to quality nursing care.”