(Bradenton, Fla., Dec. 10, 2021) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) awarded 90 nursing students their nursing pins Dec. 10 at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center. The pinning ceremony included welcome remarks from Matthew Connell, dean of nursing and health professions, and Dr. Tammy Sawmelle, SCF’s assistant dean of nursing. Jody Rain, senior clinical solutions lead at Collective Medical and a gubernatorial appointee to the Florida Board of Nursing, was the guest speaker.
Graduate Jacob Wesley was selected by his peers as the student speaker. Faculty participants included Jenny Cronkhite, Kim Hagans, Catherine Quadir and Bethany Tucker. Cronkhite, Hagans and Quadir served as faculty readers to announce each graduate. Tucker spoke on the tradition of pinning ceremonies, from its roots in the 12th century crusades to the introduction of the modern tradition by Florence Nightingale in the 19th century.
Shilo Nicholson received the Pat Kuebler Award for exhibiting potential for excellence in planning and implementing patient care, qualities Kuebler exemplified. Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the State College of Florida Foundation, presented the scholarship award. Pat Kuebler was an assistant administrator in charge of nursing for Sarasota Memorial Hospital before joining SCF, then Manatee Junior College, as an instructor. While teaching for four years, she had a profound effect on her students before passing away from cancer in 1981. In 1985, the nursing department of Manatee Memorial Hospital, made up of many of her former students, established the scholarship in her name for students who display her character, compassion and dedication to nursing.
Julie Darner, nursing admissions coordinator, received the inaugural Future of Caring Award. The award was created to honor an SCF nursing faculty or staff member who has impacted the future of patient care with their exemplary dedication to SCF nursing students.
The nurses that received their pins during the ceremony completed Associate in Science in nursing degrees and are now eligible to become certified as a registered nurse (RN). SCF also offers a Bachelor of Science in nursing, giving working RNs the opportunity to earn a four-year degree to enhance their knowledge and skills.