Heritage pins its first nursing graduates

— Heritage University’s nursing program will celebrate the inaugural cohorts, the Class of 2018, with a pinning.

It will take place Thursday, at 5 p.m. May 3 in Smith Family Hall at Heritage.

Dr. Jeri Milstead, of the College of Nursing at University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, will deliver the keynote address.

Milstead is the editor and senior author of “Health Policy and Politics: A Nurse’s Guide,” fourth edition, and “Handbook of Nursing Leadership: Creative Skills for a Culture of Safety.”

Milstead was a policy adviser in the Washington, D.C. office of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, was president of the state Board of Nursing for South Carolina, and had leadership positions with State Nurses Associations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. She retired in 2008 as professor and dean emerita from University of Toledo, College of Nursing.

She currently provides consultation on public policy, leadership and education.

Dr. Christina Nyirati, Heritage director of the nursing program, says the solemnity of the pinning ceremony is not lost on her nor the students.

“The pinning ceremony, which will no doubt become a tradition at Heritage, is an important symbol of nursing students’ hard work and dedication,” Nyirati said.

“It will be a time for these students to come together and celebrate with their classmates and loved ones.

“But most importantly, this ceremony marks the pivotal moment of their transition from student to full-fledged nurse. It will also be a proud moment for our nursing faculty as we see them achieve their dreams and goals, and we will relish in their accomplishments.”

The ceremony will also include a the “Blessing of the Hands and Hearts” observance.

Students of the first cohort of nurses in the Heritage program have been eagerly anticipating the pinning ceremony throughout their entire student nursing career.

“This is the final step we as students need to take in order to complete the journey we started in wanting to make adifference in healthcare for the residents of our communities,” graduate Julie Rodriguez said.


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