NOVA’s MEC Campus hosted its annual Allied Health and Nursing Pinning and Recognition Ceremonies this month. The ceremonies honored spring 2018 graduates who successfully completed any of the 11 health-related programs at NOVA.
“As graduates, you’re about to enter into one of the most noble professions in our society,” said NOVA President Dr. Scott Ralls. “On behalf of our region, we say thank you and congratulations. We look forward to the care that you will provide to all of our citizens. Thank you for your sacrifices, hard-work and dedication as we celebrate your individual accomplishments.”
An Allied Health Pinning Ceremony was held at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Performing Arts Center at the Alexandria Campus on May 8. Over 200 graduates were honored. NOVA’s Allied Health programs include dental hygiene, diagnostic medical sonography, emergency medical services, health information management, medical laboratory technology, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapist assistant, radiography, respiratory therapy and certification in dental assisting.
Guest speaker and former NOVA-MEC Interim Provost/Dean of Allied Health Andrew Cornell, Sr. encouraged allied health graduates to remember the ethics and values associated with their profession. Having served 21 years in the US Army as a Medical Service Corps officer and health care administrator, Cornell charged the class of 2018 to continue perfecting their craft to pursue a high level of performance.
A Nursing Pinning Ceremony was also held at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on May 11. One hundred and forty-four nursing graduates were recognized for their entrance into the field. Each one received a pin that represented a rite of passage to begin their career in health care as a highly-trained nurse.
Dr. Rebecca Sutter, executive director of Mason and Partners Clinics (MAP) and associate professor of nursing at George Mason University spoke about the importance of challenging the status quo to model exemplary leadership skills.
“As nurses, we must take the lead in changing the way we do things in health care,” said Sutter. “Many prominent leaders have paved the way for us. As you begin your nursing career, you will lead us into the future. Always enable others to act, learn about your roles as a nurse and how you can support your health care team. This is the day that you will start your career and legacy.”
The celebratory occasion concluded with grads reciting the Nightingale Pledge, a nursing oath named in honor of Florence Nightingale, the founder of the Red Cross Movement and modern nursing. Florence assisted wounded patients at night by candlelight during the Crimean War.
MEC is known as the first specialized community college campus in the Commonwealth of Virginia that meets the needs of college students interested in the health care profession and offers courses to high school students and current health care providers seeking to expand their knowledge.