Thirty-seven OSU Institute of Technology Nursing graduates will receive pins at the fall nursing pinning ceremony Friday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. in Covelle Hall on the OSUIT campus. The pinning ceremony will precede the campus commencement at 2 p.m.
Of the 37 graduates, 34 have already accepted positions, with the others in the interview process. In addition, 20 will graduate with honors: 15 Cum Laude; four Magna Cum Laude and one Summa Cum Laude.
“Watching pinning and getting to participate in that moment is so rewarding for me and all the faculty,” said Jodi Campbell, interim director of Nursing. “To see these men and women who have worked so hard and grown so much, both as future nurses and human beings, walk across that stage is a moment of celebration for us as well.”
Originally from Kent, Ohio, Rebekah Rich, has accepted a clinical nurse position in women’s health in the Mother Baby Unit at Saint Francis Hospital South. Rich said that she knew it was her calling to help people at a young age.
“As a child, I was placed in foster care due to my father’s drug addiction,” said Rich. “Multiple times, as a young child, I found him overdosed and had to find help. Eventually, addiction caused his life to end when I was 7 years old. I knew after watching him struggle that I always wanted to help people.”
As a teenager, Rich said she began volunteering to help rescue young women from human trafficking. During a trip to Cambodia, she realized nursing was her future and started working at a hospital upon her return.
“After the trip, I applied to OSUIT’s Nursing program,” she said. “I applied to many other programs and was accepted; however, I worked with many nurses who were kind, loving, and inspired me, and they were OSUIT alumni. I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps, so I made sure to choose OSUIT’s Nursing program. As soon as I accepted the nursing school position, I felt instant peace.”
Rich said she plans to continue her education and receive a bachelor’s and then become a certified nurse midwife. She would also like to use her degree to travel and continue to be a part of the relief efforts in rescuing young women involved in human trafficking.
The pinning ceremony, or the act of receiving a pin, is one the oldest rituals in nursing programs. It dates back to Florence Nightingale, circa 1860s, who rewarded her most outstanding graduates with a medal for excellence; it now symbolizes the successful completion of a nursing program.
“It’s a badge of honor,” said Campbell. “Pinning was for me, like it is for many of these students, an incredibly emotional moment where you take the time to celebrate and acknowledge this tremendous accomplishment."
Campbell said that pinning is a little bittersweet.
“We've grown to love them throughout their time with us and they grow up and leave us, said Campbell. “We have seen them laugh, cry, struggle and sometimes fail, but get back up and keep going. It's a poignant moment when we welcome them into this profession that we love and value."
Rich said that she had never met a more caring and loving staff than the OSUIT Nursing faculty.
“They have supported me since day one,” said Rich. “I delivered my miracle fertility baby during finals week of the first semester of nursing school. I left the school after an exam and went into labor on my way back to Tulsa and delivered my son that day. The instructors made sure to always put me and my baby first. They are the reason for my success here at OSUIT, and I’m eternally grateful for them.”