Brookdale Community College Spring Nursing Class of 2022 is pinned! They matriculated in the middle of the pandemic, and throughout their studies, they have witnessed the demand for the profession increase. Some of the graduates have always wanted to be a nurse. For others, it was a career change. Some did not have the prospect of higher education earlier in their lives and have now seized the opportunity. What binds this class is the dedication they all have to this noble vocation.
“The rewards of this profession outweigh all the other obstacles that we might experience,” said Bryanna Long, nursing graduate, as she kicked off the Nursing Pinning Ceremony. “This group of graduates witnessed the profession through a global pandemic and still said I want in on this special profession.”
The pinning ceremony held before commencement is distinctive for the nursing community and is unlike any graduation ceremony. Not only does it mark the completion of student coursework, but this ceremony honors nursing graduates who will work in a career where they will have to be selfless for the good of many others. Each school of nursing designs and awards its own customized pin, connecting each graduate to the alumni before them.
Charlotte Cole, instructor of Nursing and a graduate of the Brookdale Nursing Class of 2006, was chosen by the graduating class to be the guest speaker. She reflected on the College’s motto, “Here Will Get You There.” She told some success stories about three of Brookdale’s alumni nurses she has had the pleasure of working with and where they are today.
Latoya Thomas graduated from Brookdale in 2014 and is an adjunct instructor. She is the manager of the oncology unit at Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC.) Thomas said, “I will never forget how challenging the nursing program was, but how well it prepared me.”
“Here got Latoya there,” said Cole.
Graduating from Brookdale with the class of 2002, Bill Schreiber started in housekeeping at JSUMC, then earned his BSN, MSN from Thomas Edison University and MBA from Monmouth University. He is now the Director of Operations at Southern Ocean Medical Center. He was accomplishing all of this while having a full family life.
“Here got Bill there,” said Cole.
Thomas Ciancia is an alum of the class of 2014. He made a career change and entered nursing after a construction career and eventually became a nurse practitioner. As a new faculty member at Brookdale, he said, “I came to teaching to positively impact healthcare by educating the next generation of nurses.”
“Here got Tom there,” said Cole.
The 2022 Spring Class has 57 graduates. Each has their own unique stories, goals, and challenges. “Now you are all Nursing graduates,” Cole said. “Brookdale got you there!”
“Nursing is the toughest job you will ever love,” said Cole. “Nursing is cerebral, physical, and emotional. You will serve some when they enter this world, and some when they depart it. You may shed tears at both. At these times and at other challenging moments, you will remember why you became a nurse.”
The Director of Nursing, Patricia D’Aloia-Gandolfo, MSN, RN, CMSRN, presented the Nursing Honor Society Awards to the following graduating students, Stephanie Beckerman, Vivian Eadicicco, Chelsea Fulton, Bryanna Long, Kristy Ngo, Michelle Rotunno, Laina Tollefsen, and Alyson Trione.
Giving the farewell speech was Siobhan Nagy, nursing graduate, and a member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 357th Chemical Company. She said, “Teamwork will be the embodiment of our nursing class. When one teammate is weak, the others become their strike and pull each other through each shift. During clinicals, we met amazing friends. We made undeniable bonds and we leaned on each other for support. Our motto was ‘Leave no man behind’ and today our entire clinical group is here getting pinned.”
Featured photo of graduates.