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Nursing students cap off hard work with annual pinning ceremony

December 19, 2011 : By Olivia Witherite/ Liberty University News Service

Graduates pray after receiving their pins, awards and certificates at the annual pinning ceremony.

Dr. Deanna Britt, Chaiperson of the Department of Nursing, addresses the December graduates.

Liberty University’s December nursing graduates gathered on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Towns-Alumni Lecture Hall for the annual pinning ceremony.

“It is a celebration of the end of several years of hard work,” said Dr. Deanna Britt, chairperson of the Department of Nursing, before Friday's ceremony. “They are now finished and (are) looking forward to meaningful careers in healthcare.”

The December graduating class includes 42 females and seven males, who have participated in clinical training, simulations and mock physical examinations throughout their years in the program. Along with special awards and certificates, the graduates received their pin -- an emblem of Liberty’s nursing program -- that they can wear on the job.

Liberty currently offers a residential Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as an R.N. to B.S.N. and a Master of Science in Nursing through its online education program.

Graduates celebrate after the ceremony.

Ten students in the online program traveled to Lynchburg to attend Friday’s ceremony.

The winter ceremony, though much smaller than May’s, has grown in size since the first December pinning in 2005 with 12 students.

The nursing department was launched in 1991 and has expanded greatly beyond the limits of Lynchburg.

“Because of our size, we are now sending students for clinical experiences to Richmond, Roanoke and Charlottesville,” Britt said last week. “They can work with spinal cord injuries and we don't have a unit dedicated to that here in Lynchburg.  There are also pediatric emergency rooms and intensive care units at these other facilities.”

Liberty’s nursing program boasts a 99 percent job placement rate for students upon graduation.