On January 3, 2024, Brookdale Community College held its Nursing Pinning Ceremony for the Fall 2023 Graduating Class. The ceremony, a culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, celebrated the achievements of 67 graduates who received their nursing pins and officially embarked on their journeys in the nursing field.

Janelle Hughes (Eatontown), President of the Student Nurses Association, was Master of Ceremonies, welcomed the nursing graduates’ supportive families and friends, and honored guests.

The event recognized five outstanding graduates as the newest members of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society. Robin Lawrence (Morganville), Shimma Masoomzadeh-Fard (Marlboro), Amy Maynard (Wall), Danielle Parisi (Matawan), and Lexi Rosen (Freehold) were acknowledged for their exceptional commitment to nursing excellence.

Nursing Graduate Taylor Monahan (Hazlet), nominated by her peers to speak on behalf of the class, opened the ceremony with a heartfelt reflection on their challenging journey. “Today marks a pivotal moment in our lives where the accumulation of late nights, endless hours of studying, stress and triumphs are wrapped up in navy blue scrubs and a lab coat.” She encouraged her fellow graduates to become trailblazers and apply the valuable lessons learned not only in the nursing field but in all their future endeavors.

Addressing the graduates with warmth and admiration, President David M. Stout, Ph.D., conveyed his congratulations. In his inspiring message, he praised the graduates for their unwavering commitment to the noble profession of nursing, acknowledging their years of hard work and dedication. Expressing gratitude for their tireless efforts, sleepless nights, and countless clinical hours, he highlighted how these experiences have shaped them into capable healthcare professionals and beacons of hope for those in need. “Your kind words, reassuring presence, gentle touch, and compassionate heart are invaluable. Cherish the difference you create and the light you bring to your patient’s journey.” President Stout concluded by encouraging the graduates to wear their Brookdale badge with pride, whether beginning their careers or continuing their education.

Jayne Edman, Ed.D., RN, Dean of the Health Science Institute, emphasized the significance of the pinning ceremony as a rite of passage into the esteemed profession of nursing. The unique nursing pins, designed by the first graduating class at Brookdale, were described as symbols of honor, courage, and commitment to caring, linking graduates to a legacy of exceptional nurses in Monmouth County.

In a touching message, Caitlin Raiten, MSN, RN-BC, Assistant Professor of Nursing, expressed her deep honor in being selected by the class to speak and her genuine affection for the graduates. Recounting her experience instructing the students, she emphasized the exceptional qualities that set them apart, referring to them as “good humans.” “Teaching individuals that have the characteristics of kindness, care, respect, and motivation to learn presented challenges. The lectures were characterized by engaging questions and answers, deep dives into the why and how, thought-provoking discussions, and the development of reflective skills.”

“I taught their favorite course, pharmacology for nurses,” she continued with laughter from the graduates. “Those students and I spent four weeks, four hours a week, every week for 15 weeks together. After a much-needed summer break, we all came back in the fall, and much to their surprise, I was teaching them again, and we got to know each other well. This group holds a special place in my heart. The clinical groups I was lucky to work with became my favorite part of the week. These students not only knew how to safely demonstrate skill but also knew how to speak therapeutically to their patients and teach them what was going on. Watching these students apply what they learned in class to real people with such confidence and pride is all I could ask for as an educator. This group inspired me to be a better teacher, and I know they will make incredible nurses.”

In her farewell speech, Nursing Graduate Shimma Masoomzadeh-Fard acknowledged that her classmates transformed the challenging journey of nursing school into one that was both enjoyable and meaningful. “The camaraderie and support shown by my classmates made nursing school fun, even when it was stressful,” she said. “This is what makes nursing schools such a unique experience. Our shared sense of purpose and dedication to learning for the sake of our patient’s well-being has united us throughout this journey. I feel honored to be in the presence of what will be some of the most kind, compassionate and excellent nurses.”

The Pinning Ceremony is a testament to these aspiring healthcare professionals’ resilience, dedication, and excellence as they embark on their journeys in nursing. These graduates, equipped with their knowledge, expertise, and commitment, will play a pivotal role in addressing the healthcare needs of our community.