The University of Sioux Falls will recognize graduating nursing students for their accomplishments and welcome them into the profession of nursing at the School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m. at the Jeschke Fine Arts Center. A reception will precede the program at 9:30 a.m.

A ceremony rich in the history and tradition of the profession of nursing, the program will include an address to the Class of 2017 from President Brett Bradfield, followed by student presentations, awards, the presentation of pins and lighting of the lamps.

According to the Director of the USF School of Nursing Jessica Cherenegar, her biggest joy and greatest priority is hearing from USF graduates as they enter the profession as Registered Nurses and their palpable pride as they assume their role as servant leaders.

“What never ceases to amaze me is observing the growth that occurs during a student’s time in the program,” Dr. Cherenegar said. “It is my job to ensure that we have a solid program of study but it is the moments outside of the curriculum that remind me each day why I love to come to work—whether it is reading a student’s joyful reflection of helping a first-time mom breastfeed or a sobering experience where the patient outcome wasn’t what was hoped for—there is a tangible development of character that I find fascinating and incredibly rewarding to witness.”

The nursing program's 96 percent pass rate exceeds the national rate by 10 percent and is among the highest in the state.

Further, students receive incredible, hands-on opportunities to gain experience while in school. This January, for example, a group of nursing students traveled to Columbia in South America to dispense first aid kits, educate individuals on taking medications correctly and provide medical and preventative care to families.

USF’s graduating Bachelor of Science in Nursing students include:

Emebet Abebe, Jacob Abel, Heather Adolph, Gretchen Ahrens, Nicole Black, Amber Blagg

Michael Bonynge, Sarah Bowen, Meg Buchholtz, Julie Dierks, Samantha Drake, Hannah Drost, Angela Dvorak, Abbey Fischer, Tyler Foust, BrieAnna Geck, Kristen Hanzlik, Jessica Houser, Kristen Hutchinson, Melissa Iburg, Emily Jane Johnson, Emily McKenzie Johnson, Debra Jones, Michael Keegan, Michaela Kouri, Logan Larson, Kelsey Leif, Kristy Leopold, Jackie Loecker, Lindsey Lopez, Marie Malloy, Emma Meidinger, Ashley Mertz, Tiffany Peterson, Amanda Poppen, Jenna Pottebaum, Carlos Sanabria, Jared Schmit, Lisa Schneekloth, Eve Skindelien, Samantha Smith, Jocelyn Starr, Shelby Steele, Lexi Stevenson, Michelle Swigart, Todd Townsend, Christina Trant, Travis Vaca, Marissa Van Driel, Jennifer Vickers, Courtney Visaya, Kristi Vos, Samantha Whitley and Kayla Zylstra.

About the Nursing Pins

The tradition of the ceremonial pinning ceremony originated in the 1860s at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Having been recently awarded The Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying in the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale chose to extend this honor to her most outstanding graduate nurses by presenting each of them with a medal for excellence.

About the Nursing Lamps

The lighting of the lamps was a symbol of the care and devotion the nurse administers to the sick and injured in the practice of nursing. After nurses were pinned, Nightingale would light a lamp and pass the flame to each nurse as they said a pledge.