Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) held a Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony for its 40 graduates Wednesday evening, December 14, 2022, at the Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church in Keene, Texas. This year’s class, a diverse group, was made up of many nationalities, ESL students, first-in-family graduates, traditional students, older students with families, and adults pursuing second careers. They persisted on their nursing journey through a global pandemic, a Texas “Snowmageddon,” and personal losses along the way, the evening’s speaker, Assistant Professor of Nursing Kathy Davis, pointed out in her address.
The class chose Joshua 1:9 as their scripture: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” In her address, Davis also presented the graduates with two more texts, Jeremiah 29:11, to know that God has plans for each of them, and 2 Chronicles 20:15, to believe that He will fight their battles. “This pin you are about to receive is a reminder that you have shown great persistence,” she said. “Go forward with determination, knowing that you are strong and courageous,” she charged her former students.
A long line of parents, mentors, children, cousins, spouses, and siblings took the stage to share their graduate’s moment of accomplishment and “pin” them. As the students were being pinned, Nursing faculty read each student’s gratitude to their many supporters and their best memories of their time in SWAU’s nursing program, which included many memories of SWAU’s Nursing faculty members reaching out to them, helping them, and praying for them. The students’ future plans were also announced. Most students have already secured employment and gained spots in an array of high-level residencies.
After the pinning, partners of SWAU, AdventHealth and Kettering Health presented awards. AdventHealth awarded Madison Cores their Mission of Excellence Award. Next, Patricia Sandoval received Kettering Health’s Called to Care Award.
Dr. Kerrie Kimbrow, chair of SWAU’s department of nursing, shared, “Our entire faculty team is incredibly proud. On their journey, these students have risen above life's challenges during the rigorous nursing program. They are an amazing group of people, and they will be going all over the country to make a difference in people’s lives,” fulfilling Southwestern Adventist University’s mission to inspire knowledge, faith, and service in ways that change the world.