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KCC nursing program graduates honored at pinning ceremony

LIHU‘E — Twelve Kaua‘i Community College nursing program graduates received their appropriate degrees on Friday, and were honored during the traditional pinning ceremony on Saturday at the Grove Farm Museum, the home of Mabel Wilcox, the first public health nurse on Kaua‘i.

“They’re not nurses yet,” said Maureen Tabura, the Kaua‘i Community College nursing program coordinator, who was the recipient of the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents’ Excellence in Teaching award during the 58th commencement on Friday night. “They still have to pass the nurses’ exam before becoming nurses.”

The group of graduates, including Melinda Belmodis, Samantha “Sam” Bueno, Erin Clark, Kim Domingsil, Chelsea Ferrer, Mary Hall, Cherish Mariani, Whitney Mitchell, Kelsie Norton, Theo Papa, Ma Suerte Rebucal and Deva Siblerud, reveled in the company of their respective families and friends.

Student speakers included Clark and Rebucal, who needed the help of both Tabura and entertainer Bruddah Lance in dealing with the microphone that kept dropping its cord as she danced along the line of graduates.

“If I knew you were a comedienne, I would’ve called on you more,” said Tabura, adjourning to presentations of special awards.

Alex Naumu, husband of the late Lisa Naumu, a nurse at Wilcox Medical Center until she succumbed to cancer, spoke of the selfless caring dedication Lisa demonstrated in her battle with cancer, and in memory of her, presented checks to each of the graduates.

Whitney Mitchell was announced the recipient of the Jeanette Justice Psychosocial Award. And Cherish Mariani was announced the recipient of the Josefina Abaya Cortezan Nursing Award before the graduates were pinned by designated members of their families.

The pinning ceremony has roots that date back to the 12th century when knights who aided the sick were presented a Maltese Cross to wear.

Florence Nightingale, known as the mother of modern nursing, was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in the 1860s for her work during the Crimean War. To share this honor, Nightingale presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates.

This is the root of the pinning ceremony, where the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London designated and awarded a badge with a Maltese Cross to all nurses as they completed the program.

Tabura said the pin symbolizes educated women who are competent to serve as nurses and provide health care to society.

“Patients look for the pin to identify where the nurses are from,” Tabura said. “They don’t look at the stripes on nurses’ caps anymore.”
Source: The Garden Island

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