GARDNER — Family and friends from as near as Gardner and as far away as Zimbabwe came to celebrate the achievements of Mount Wachusett Community College’s associate degree nursing class during a traditional pinning ceremony held on Thursday in the Fitness & Wellness Center.
The 43rd graduating class was comprised of students enrolled in the day and evening programs and included licensed practical nurses who returned to continue their education through the college’s Bridge to Nursing program.
Mount Wachusett President Daniel M. Asquino congratulated the students on their success completing one of the college’s most rigorous academic programs. He noted that the care and compassion of nurses bring tremendous comfort to patients who are often at their lowest moment and in pain.
Summarizing key points made during his commencement address the evening before, the president encouraged the graduates to move forward in their careers and lives with compassion, empathy and a positive attitude.
“I can think of no other profession where these are so essential.”
Eileen Costello, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Community Service Programs, also welcomed the graduates and their families.
Dressed in traditional nurse uniforms, the students were welcomed into the profession by having the program’s nursing pin fastened to their lapels by a family member, friend or an alumnus of the program, or a faculty member, to the cheers of family and friends. The pin symbolizes where the nurses completed their studies to become a registered nurse and distinguishes them from other health care professionals. The eight-star Mount Wachusett Community College pin is imprinted with the words “Service to Humanity and the World.”
As part of the ceremony, the students also took a nursing pledge that dates back to Florence Nightingale, who distinguished herself during the Crimean War by coming to the aid of sick and wounded soldiers.