West Windsor, N.J. – Students from Mercer County Community College’s Nursing program recently gathered at the college’s Kelsey Theatre to celebrate as their studies at Mercer were coming to an end. A total of thirty-five men and women received their nursing pin in a ceremony that will mark the beginning of a new career for students of varied ages, backgrounds, and nationalities.
“I get filled with emotion when I think about how hard you’ve worked to get to this special moment,” said Dr. Diane Campbell, executive dean of student affairs. “Nurses light the path of peoples’ lives. As you receive your hard-earned pin tonight I wish you all the good that life can bring you for the future.”
Dr. Guy Generals, vice president for Academic Affairs, asked that nursing students turn and applaud their families for their love and support throughout their studies. “You have been a large part of the steps that have lead to their success,” he said.
Presiding over the ceremonies was Dr. Linda Martin, dean of Science and Health Professions, who gave words of encouragement and praise for the graduating class. “I have to tell you that you all look different from the first time I saw you: you’re smiling,” she joked.
Martin also gave a special thanks to nursing faculty and staff. “None of us would be here tonight without your hard work and dedication to our students,” she said.
Class Valedictorian Tetyana Nalivayko of Princeton also gave thanks to the staff of the nursing program. “You passionately guided our education, supported us in times of distress, wiped our tears, gave us some laughs and occasionally some very tricky questions,” she said.
Nalivayko recalled the nervousness they all shared at their nursing orientation. “We all felt like a group of kindergartners, scared and confused, not knowing what to do, where to go, or how to begin. We didn’t know how we were going to pull through the program as many of us had jobs, families and children. It was a scary time.”
Nalivayko, who had the highest GPA of her class, congratulated her fellow graduates for their accomplishments. “Let us give ourselves a pat on the back for how far we’ve come.”