Under normal circumstances, earning a degree in nursing is challenging. The classes and clinicals are demanding, and long hours are spent studying human anatomy and how to properly care for patients.
The year 2020 added an extra level of difficulty for nursing students at St. Petersburg College, but in true Titan fashion, they powered through and were rewarded for their hard work with a pinning ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Clearwater Campus. The event celebrated students from the Spring and Fall 2020 graduating classes for the SPC College of Nursing.
Of the more than 2,000 degrees and credentials SPC awarded this fall, 193 of them were Associate in Science in Nursing and 129 were Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In the Spring Term, there were 162 A.S. degrees and 93 B.S. degrees in nursing awarded.
While normally the campus auditorium would be packed with graduates, guests, and nursing faculty for such an occasion, the college opted for a socially-distanced ceremony spread out over three hours to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Graduating students were assigned time slots based on their clinical groups to avoid overcrowding, and everyone in attendance was required to wear a face mask at all times. Students and their guests were also staggered to maintain a six-foot distance from others outside of their household.
Despite the adjustments to the ceremony, it was still a joyous occasion filled with cheering and smiling eyes. Representatives from Suncoast Credit Union—which sponsored this year’s event—congratulated students and handed them the customary yellow rose before they ascended to the stage. Dr. Louisana Louis, Dean of the College of Nursing, and Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth, Vice President of Academic Affairs, were also in attendance and bumped elbows with newly pinned graduates as they walked off stage in place of the traditional handshake.
The Fall 2020 graduating class included more than one parent-child pair graduating, including mother and daughter Deborah and Rebecca Turner, as well as a father, Shawn Conrad, and his twin daughters, Kayla and Karlee.
Deborah and Rebecca celebrated their joint accomplishment with a picture together on stage while Shawn hopped offstage after receiving his pin and stepped into the role of proud dad, cheering on his daughters alongside their family.
SPC is immensely proud of this graduating nursing class and all of our students who completed their education during a particularly challenging year. Congratulations, Titan nurses!