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VGCC Pins 31 Practical Nursing Graduates

Thirty women and one man who have completed the one-year Practical Nursing program at Vance-Granville Community College received their distinctive pins in ceremonies Aug. 4 in the college Civic Center.

Honored at the ceremonies were Betty Mae Fields, Donna Reaves Fowler, Amy Lynn Hedgepeth, Kelly Russell Layton, Charisma Pheniqueka Robinson and Queena Denise Royster, all of Henderson, Linda Elaine Mitchener of Kittrell, Pamela Denise Bass, Beverly Greene-Tyler, April Unique Hayes, Allison Allen Pearce, Zenata Latosha Royster, LaShunda Smith-Thorpe and Angela Aiken Tillotson of Oxford, Lisa Marie Goss, Kim B. Perry and Rashawnda Sherrell Smith of Creedmoor, Brandi Gail Adcock of Rougemont, Tosha Oakley Buckner and Christopher G. Nieto of Louisburg, Patricia Burke and Donna Gail Lowery of Franklinton, Swanora Yvonne Emory of Youngsville, Mildred Stevenson Hargrove of Norlina, Amy Jennifer Walker of Macon, Florence Adamolekun and Magdaline Golston of Durham, Chrissy Lee Creech and Amy Dixon Holliday of Wake Forest, Kelly Sue Milberg of Roxboro, and Amy Dawn White of Hurdle Mills.

VGCC President Randy Parker welcomed family and guests and applauded all those who helped the practical nursing students during their arduous year of training.

Parker shared some facts about the 2005 Practical Nursing class. Their ages range from 20 to 46, with an average age of 29, which he noted is younger than previous years. Twelve of the students are married and six are engaged, and they boast of total of 35 children among them. One of the graduates – Rashawnda Smith – had a baby just three weeks ago, and she and the infant were present at the ceremonies.

Beth Phillips, VGCC Nursing Program Director, spoke briefly and told the graduates they will face many challenges during their careers in nursing. “Look at these challenges as opportunities rather than roadblocks,” Phillips said.

She also told the new practical nurses to be positive. “Your outlook will have a sincere impact on your patients,” she said.

Patricia Beverage, a licensed practical nurse who is president of the North Carolina Licensed Practical Nursing Federation, was the principal speaker for the ceremony. She is a graduate of Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville and has worked 22 years as a pediatric nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune.

Referring to the shortage of nurses in the state, Beverage said, “Whew! Help is finally on the way.”

The speaker urged the graduates to continue their learning after leaving school. “You need to learn something about healthcare every single day you work in your careers,” Beverage said.

“My hope for you,” Beverage said, “is that you always show courage, commitment, service and professionalism as you work in your nursing career.”

A number of awards were presented to the graduates. Patricia Burke was recognized for having the highest scholastic average in the class, a 3.7 grade-point-average. Other scholastic achievement awards for maintaining B or better averages went to Magdaline Goldston, Kelly Layton, Kelly Milberg, Allison Pearce and Rashawnda Smith.

National Federation of LPN Honor Society Awards went to Burke, Donna Fowler, Goldston, Layton, Milberg, Pearce and Smith.

The ceremonies ended with the graduates reciting the Practical Nurses’ Pledge by candelight.

PINNED PRACTICAL NURSES – Receiving Practical Nursing pins at ceremonies at Vance-Granville Community College Aug. 4 were, front, from left: April Hayes, Kelly Milberg, Yvonne Emory, Rashawnda Smith, Linda Mitchener; second row, from left: Chrissy Creech, Amy Hedgepeth, Betty Fields, Tosha Buckner; third row, from left: LaShunda Thorpe, Florence Adamolekun; Amy Walker, Donna Lowery; fourth row, from left: Amy Holliday, Queena Royster, Lisa Goss; fifth row, from left: Angela Tillotson, Allison Pearce, Kelly Layton; sixth row, from left: Amy White, Patricia Burke, Donna Fowler, Zenata Royster; seventh row, from left: Beverly Green-Tyler, Brandi Adcock, Pamela Bass, Charisma Robinson; back row, from left: Christopher Nieto, Mildred Stevenson-Hargrove, Magdaline Goldston.