Pictured back row, left to right: Instructors Nicole Kissinger, Brett Niemeth and Becky Schrunk, students Alisha Garcia, Tamera Rosane, Morgan Coady, Shelly Landry, Bobbi Gustason and Lana Watson, instructor.
Middle row left to right: Instructor Terri Weaver, students Ashley Law, Crystal Gartrell, Hollie Graves, Tina Holm, Hanna Kelley, instructor Marina Makovicka, students Kaytlynne Walker, Dawn Westerbuhr and Tina Berglund and instructors Stephanie Seamann and Dawn Mallory.
Front row left to right: Kathy Harrison, director of nursing, students Megan Fiechtner, Cortney Lewandowski, Shayna Hanks, Ashleigh Cardwell, Cora-Leigh Seaman, Shayla Hecht and instructor Maria Young. Not pictured were students: Crystal Mayhew, Ali Ryan, Tammy Watson and Barbara Eromomene.
It was the end - and the beginning.
For the 23 students in the Mid-Plains Community College Licensed Practical Nursing Program, Thursday couldn't come soon enough.
The pinning ceremony at North Platte Community College's South Campus was the culmination of 11 months' worth of hard work, blood (literally), sweat and tears.
It also marked a new chapter in the lives of the students, all of whom pledged to devote themselves to the welfare of others.
The ceremony was a symbolic welcome into the profession of nursing. Student speakers Shayla Hecht, of North Platte, and Megan Fiechtner, of Stapleton, summed up the experience for the numerous friends and family members in attendance.
"It's quite surreal," said Hecht. "The past year of our lives has led up to this moment. Nursing school is full of first moments – the first time we looked around and realized we were no longer classmates, we were sisters, the first time an instructor said, 'Go ahead. You've got this. You don't need me anymore,' the first time a patient looked up and said, 'Thank you.' We started out as strangers and ended up as family."
Fiechtner said she and her classmates made it to the pinning because they weren't afraid to take risks, or to fall. She encouraged them to be the greatest nurses they could be.
"I look around, and I see confidence. I see caring. I see critical thinkers. I see a nurse," said Fiechtner. "Don't be afraid to go above and beyond."
Hecht and Fiechtner were both recognized at the ceremony for receiving numerous A+ grades over the past year, as were Ashley Law, Cora-Leigh Seaman and Dawn Westerbuhr.
Hecht, Seaman and Bobbi Gustason were honored for being on the Dean's List and for receiving Spirit Awards earlier in the year. Fiechtner was also named as the Division Award recipient.
The following is a list of all the students who graduated from MPCC's 2016 LPN Program.
Ansley – Ali Ryan
Dickens - Crystal Gartrell
Gordon – Tamera Rosane
Gothenburg – Cora-Leigh Seaman
Hayes Center – Shelly Landry
Hershey – Ashleigh Cardwell
Holbrook – Alisha Garcia
Holdrege – Shayna Hanks
Kearney – Tammy Watson
Maxwell – Kaytlynne Walker
McCook – Morgan Coady, Barbara Eromomene
North Platte – Tina Berglund, Bobbi Gustason, Shayla Hecht, Cortney Lewandowski
Ogallala – Hanna Kelley, Ashley Law
Paxton – Hollie Graves
Stapleton – Megan Fiechtner
Sutherland – Tina Holm
Valentine – Crystal Mayhew
Julesburg – Dawn Westerbuhr