By Jordan Beach

Twenty-two student nurses were the focus Thursday morning at the inaugural Pinning Ceremony at Reinhardt University, and their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences were conferred by President Kina Mallard at the 133rd Commencement Ceremony Thursday night in James & Sis Brown Athletic Center.

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Keynote speaker Sharon Pappas, Chief Nurse Executive for Emory Healthcare and Waleska native, shared insightful wisdom from her more than 40 decades as a nurse and spoke about “advancing your purpose.” Pappas also reminisced on her many connections to Reinhardt, starting with her grandfather who helped build several structures on campus in exchange for his children attending the school. Her daughter and two sisters also became alumni of Reinhardt.

Pappas knew she wanted to become a nurse when her grandfather’s nurse told him she would help him “learn how to live” with his pacemaker.

“I knew right then I wanted to be part of a profession that taught people how to live.”

The Cauble School’s namesake, Dr. John A. Cauble, was Pappas’ family physician, furthering her connection to Reinhardt, even today. She advised the future nurses to foster relationships throughout their careers in order to best serve their patients.

“Nurses are natural collaborators and relationship builders...Your relationships with your patients and their families is of utmost importance. But also nurture relationships within your nursing team and the multitude of other disciplines and professions that you will work with. Never back away from the important role that you have in creating a healthy culture by using those relationship building skills to influence your care team.

“Patients win when that happens. Patients feel safe because of that. Patients are healed because of it.”

Following the address, Julie Fleming, vice president for enrollment management and marketing, recognized scholarship recipients, and Misty Wright, assistant professor of nursing, honored Rick Atkinson, Jr. with the DAISY Award.

Reinhardt’s nursing graduates then received their pin from founding dean of the Cauble School, Dr. Glynis Blackard, a lamp and a Bible. As each graduate made their way across the stage, assistant professor of nursing, Kim Michaels, read a personal note each had written to thank those in their lives who supported them throughout their journey in nursing school.

The graduates recited the International Council of Nurses Pledge, promising in front of their loved ones and nursing faculty to uphold the highest standards in all areas of their nursing careers, and joined the rest of the graduating class later that evening for Reinhardt’s 133rd Commencement Ceremony.

Closing the inaugural ceremony, President Mallard honored Blackard for all the investments she made in starting Reinhardt’s nursing program. She was gifted a framed copy of Cohort One’s composite, signed by each student.

Congratulations to the nursing Class of 2019!

Sierra Destiny Armstrong
Rick Atkinson, Jr.
Lucy Anne Bailey
Sarah Jayne Elizabeth Burgess
Joanna Calhoun Caldwell
Clayton Joe Cowart
Heather Emily Grace Fox
Mary Hannah Fuller
Summer Christine Gaskill
Melanie Kristine Gerdes
Aubrie Annette Harding
Adriana Stephany Herrera
Julia Blair Holbert
Peyton Timothy Holbrook
Martha Erin Piper
Rachel Ann Price
Alina Perez Ramirez
Kerri Nicole Riordan
Emily Rachel Rolader
Jocelyn Blair Satterfield
George Richard Seddon III
Erin Lee Temples