WEST WINDSOR – Even though the recognition was for individuals, graduation from the Nursing program at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) was very much a group effort, according to January 2014 Nursing valedictorian Rachael Faris.
“Our family and friends gave us their hearts – as well as their arms and lungs, as we practiced our assessment skills, and the faculty, who taught us for every word in the English language, there is a longer, unpronounceable one,” Faris said. “This is a group of pretty amazing nurses, and pretty amazing friends. We found ourselves as much involved in our classmate’s lives as our own.”
Faris was one of 37 Nursing students who received their nursing pin Jan. 15, which marks the end of their training and the beginning of their careers. Acting Director of Nursing Education Donna Penn presided over the graduation ceremony.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Guy Generals applauded the accomplishments of the graduates, noting that their perseverance in completing a challenging curriculum is a positive reflection on their character and work ethic.
“By sticking with it, you’ve shown your ability to be successful,” Generals said.
In welcoming remarks, MCCC President Dr. Patricia Donohue said one of her favorite tasks as president is recognizing accomplishments of students. She expressed her appreciation to supportive family and friends, as well.
“You have chosen a rigorous profession that requires a lot of intensity and skill,” Donohue said. “When you go to work in our community, we know you will represent us well.”
In her concluding remarks, Faris emphasized that as nurses, they have been charged with a tremendous responsibility. But considering what each of them accomplished as individuals and together as students, she feels they are up to the challenge.
“There is a saying that life shrinks or expands in relation to one’s courage,” Faris said. “We believe, deep down, that we have the ability to have a positive impact on lives on a daily basis.”
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MCCC Nursing Education Program Class of January 2014 valedictorian Rachael Faris at the podium, with, from left, VP for Academic Affairs Guy Generals, President Patricia Donohue, and Acting Director of Nursing Educaton Donna Penn.
Fred Weiner, Counselor, Advisor and Acadmic Coach for the Math, Science and Health Professions Divison with Nursing graduate Randall Perry..