Nursing program welcomes class of 2012

Sophomore nursing students lit a candle at a ceremony Saturday night to mark their official acceptance into the five-year program.

Alexandra Montiel, Writer

The class of 2012 was officially welcomed into the nursing program Saturday night as family, friends and staff gathered to watch the ceremony in Sutherland Auditorium.

The 40 students, now about to conclude their first year in the five-year nursing program, can finally put closure on any fears that they had over the possibility of not making the cut for the program. Nursing students don’t know until their sophomore year whether or not they are accepted. The uncertainty can be unnerving.

“It’s kind of scary,” said sophomore Ruth Langworthy. “For me, I’m a double major, so I always have my other option of music … You put in a lot of work into all those science classes and not knowing if they are actually going to count towards something.”

But despite the fear and uncertainty of whether or not they will be accepted into the program, most students have a plan B; they apply to several other nursing programs, Langworthy said.

The students were treated to special flute and clarinet music and a warm welcome from class of 2011 nurses Emily Jackson and Alexandra Sparks. Laughs and smiles filled the auditorium when a special slide show of the class of 2012 played. After receiving individual recognition, a Bible and a candle, all 40 level one students lined up in rows and presented themselves to the audience as official members of the nursing program. The students made a commitment to the program, to the school and to God.

Susan Elliot, director of the Nursing Department, explained the candle lighting portion of the ceremony, which comes from a 100-year-old tradition of modern nursing from Florence Nightengale, the “mother of modern nursing,” she said.

“When she first went to the Crimean War and began to care for the British soldiers, she really took to heart of caring and compassion, so she had a lantern and the soldiers would call her ‘the lady with the lamp’ because she would come at all hours to make sure they were warm, they had food, they were clean,” Elliot said.

The life of a nursing student demands great dedication and passion. Students must be at the clinic, City of Hope, near Pasadena, at 6 a.m., Thursdays and Fridays, where they work 12-hour shifts. In addition, they must complete their general education, major and Bible courses, which they take Monday through Wednesday.

“Schedules are insane … it’s a lot of class work and extra studying,” said sophomore Darrah Hokama. “It’s a pretty heavy load, but it’s a really good sacrifice to make.”

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