KOKOMO, Ind. — Graduates in Indiana University Kokomo’s School of Nursing and Division of Allied Health Sciences marked both an ending and beginning Thursday (May 3), with recognition and pinning ceremonies, celebrating entrance into the health professions.
“Your hard work, dedication, and self-discipline have led you to this milestone,” said Chancellor Michael Harris. “We are proud of our graduates, and wish you a future in abundance.”
Nursing graduate Erynn Dean said for many of the students, the pinning ceremony is more special even than Commencement.
“It’s personalized to our school, and we celebrate it with the friends who have gone through this program with us,” she said. “That gives it so much meaning.”
The School of Nursing honored 47 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 50 R.N. to B.S.N. graduates during its recognition ceremony, in Havens Auditorium.
The Division of Allied Health honored seven Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Technology and 11 Associate of Science in Radiography graduates at its first-ever recognition ceremony and pinning.
“All our Bachelor of Science graduates in Medical Imaging Technology (MIT) have secured jobs,” said Susan Sciame-Giesecke, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “The MIT program is a world-class degree taught by faculty who are dedicated to ensuring academic excellence and student success.”
John Hughey, chairman of the Division of Allied Health Sciences, said the pinning ceremony is a nod to a time when allied health professionals received pins instead of diplomas. Medical imaging technology students must perform community and campus service, in addition to completing their degrees, to earn pins.
Erika Boyd, from Kokomo, is excited to begin working at Riverview Hospital in Noblesville. She will graduate at Tuesday’s Commencement ceremony with a bachelor’s in medical imaging technology.
“I’ve had jobs all the time I’ve been in school, but now I can start my career,” she said.
Brittany Burney, from Kokomo, earned an associate in radiography and plans to be back in class in July to work toward a bachelor’s degree.
“I chose IU Kokomo because of this program and its great reputation. It has been a difficult challenge, but it is worth it because I will get to help people,” Burney said.
At the nursing recognition ceremony, Dean, a Bunker Hill resident, said it felt “surreal” to be near the finish line. She plans to pass her licensing exams and then start work in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph Hospital, in Kokomo.
She said the School of Nursing prepared her to succeed both for the test and in her career.
“The faculty and staff have made the journey as easy as it could possibly be,” she said.
Andrew Pietrzak has a nursing job at Marion General Hospital, which paid his tuition. He said it feels good to earn his degree and have a job in his hometown.
“I can make a difference and support my family as a nurse,” he said.
Morgan Fausett, from Frankfort, planned to celebrate completing nursing school with a trip to Europe. She has a job waiting for her in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at IU Health Arnett Hospital, Lafayette.
“IU Kokomo helped me get my career,” she said. “This is the end of one chapter in my life, but the beginning of a new one. I am excited to graduate.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.