In front of a supportive crowd comprised of family, friends and supporters, College of the Canyons nursing students celebrated the reception of their traditional nursing pins Wednesday in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
In anticipation of their upcoming graduation, the 61 nursing students crowded into the PAC to hear kind words from faculty and show their appreciation to those who helped them on their path to becoming registered nurses.
More than 98 percent of the students will be pursuing a degree in six months, Chancellor Dianne Van Hook said from the podium Wednesday, before speaking on the unique characteristics of the graduating class.
“This year, you demonstrated your tenacious character, your indomitable spirit, your fortitude, your perseverance and your incredible attitude, and we are all are so very proud of you,” Van Hook said. “This graduating class has shown us what courage and determination means.”
The crowd laughed as Van Hook teased the students about the precarious habits they had developed over the course of their studies, and the chancellor then touched on the group’s empathy, which became evident when fellow student Jenny Hanson’s family house burned down in the 2017 Thomas Fire.
She had the opportunity to quit, but she wanted to stay on track with her cohort, school officials said.
“It was the most beautiful, pragmatic, caring demonstration of what this class is all about — so we all celebrate you being here tonight Jenny,” Dr. Sherri Mendelson, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center’s director of Nursing Research and Magnet Program, said as the crowd broke out in deafening applause.
“Nursing is a noble calling,” Van Hook said. “In a few minutes, you’ll receive your nurse’s pin, which is a symbol of your commitment to the profession.
“As you move ahead from here, I want to thank each of you for having the courage to make this choice to be a nurse,” Van Hook added. “Knowing what was required of you, you pushed on anyways… and overcame whatever challenges that stood in your way. You have earned all of our respect, admiration and praise… congratulations, nursing class of 2019.”