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Nurses pinned at COC

Posted: December 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Student registered nurse Bryan Prudencio comes on stage during the pinning ceremony of Registered Nursing, Class of Fall 2012 held at the Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons on Saturday.

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In front of a raucous standing-room-only crowd of family, friends and well-wishers, nursing students celebrated their graduation Saturday in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons.

Attendees screamed, stomped and held up signs recognizing each of the graduates, who now become registered nurses.

Michael Wilding, COC’s assistant superintendent and vice president of student services, told the assembled crowd that this graduation ceremony is his favorite one to attend.

“And you all have a lot to do with that,” he told the graduates. “So nicely done.”

Wilding told the crowd about an experience he had in college, when a nurse he was visiting for a routine physical ended up finding a malignant melanoma on his leg.

Wilding credited that nurse with saving his life.

“Every one of you graduating here today will, at some point, save someone’s life,” Wilding said. “That is unlike any other career there is.”

As part of the ceremony, graduates received pins on the front of their robes to mark their achievements, continuing in the tradition of Florence Nightingale, who gave out awards to the outstanding nurses she taught.

Each graduate also held up an electric candle to symbolize their role as a light during the dark times in a person’s life.

Several students spoke during the ceremony to reflect on their nursing program experiences.

“Our brains are saturated sponges full of information,” said graduate Garry Helgeson. “I don’t think I can remember a simple phone number at this point.”

Two others, Erica Lopez and Kathryn Cramer, talked about the daunting academic challenges that come with studying to be a nurse, and made sure to thank family, friends and classmates for helping them make it to graduation.

“I can’t think of a better group of people to share this experience with,” Cramer told her fellow graduates.



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