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Kent State Salem Recognizes Nursing Students

Posted May. 15, 2012

One Last Lesson Given at Ceremony

Boardman, Ohio – Prior to the end of the semester, Kent State University at Salem held its annual pinning ceremony at Avion on the Water for the 2012 graduating class. Thirty-five students received nursing pins signifying their hard work and dedication to their schoolwork and future profession. In addition, individuals were recognized for their academic, clinical or leadership excellence. A spirit of nursing award was given, along with a nursing professionalism award and a student mentorship award.

Krista Hawkins, senior class president, was chosen by the students to address the packed room. After quoting her nursing philosophy, “when you’re a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life, or a life will touch yours,” she related this philosophy to a doctor she befriended during her clinicals. To Hawkins, Dr. Mashburn, “fully embraces and understands what this phrase means,” she said. In one of his blog entries, Dr. Mashburn wrote about young Stanley, who was a bit slower than the rest. At the end of a visit to Dr. Mashburn, quiet Stanley explained he made churches out of wood. The busy doctor sat and took the time to learn about the structures. Later, after the physician had actually forgot about the conversation, the young patient returned, this time with one of his buildings. Dr. Mashburn said that he genuinely praised the small church and set it where everyone could view it.

“`Stanley left our office with more purpose in his walk, and I realized that at least for a few minutes, I was introduced to the Stanley that I had never known before,’” Hawkins quoted. “`He was proud of his hard work, and I was proud for realizing the opportunity that was placed before me to make a big difference in a young man‘s life with a tiny gesture of kindness.’”

Hawkins went on to say that the passage reminded her of how lucky she is to be going into a field where she can have these types of interactions every day. “But that’s up to me,” she said. “It’s up to usto take the time and patience necessary for this type of interaction.  I want that for all of us and for our future patients.”Professor Janeen Kotsch, who presented the keynote address, spoke of nurses who have paved the way for today’s nurses. “You are nursing’s future,” she said. “Now it is your turn to make a difference. You will lead nursing into the 21st century.”

Noting that young nurses may find it difficult to know how to be a nurse leader in the beginning of their career, Kotsch said that researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner, in their book Leadership Challenge, identified five main practices of exemplary leadership based on asking thousands of individuals their best leadership stories. “Individuals are at their personal best when they model the way their job is to be done, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart,” she said. “I challenge you to incorporate these leadership strategies into your future nursing practice.

“Nursing is more than a set of procedural skill-steps from a text book,” she continued. “Being a nurse means that you put the needs of others before your own. The patient is always your priority.  Care and compassion guide your actions. Nursing requires critical thinking and a lifetime committed to personal growth and continuous learning.  And remember, a nurse is not what you are; a nurse is who you are.” 

Between Kent State East Liverpool and Kent State Salem, more than 25 local degrees are available. Students may also start any one of Kent State University’s 236 bachelor’s degrees. For more information, please contact Kent State East Liverpool at 330-385-3805 or Kent State Salem at 330-332-0361.  

Photo Caption:
Individual awards were given as part of the Kent State Salem nursing pinning ceremony. Individuals were recognized for their academic, clinical and leadership excellence. A spirit of nursing award was given, along with a nursing professionalism award and a student mentorship award. Awardees included (first row, left to right): Nicole Pedersen, Marisa Frank, Tammy Rockwood, Ryan Scragg and Jessica McHugh, (second row, left to right): Brittany Kramer, Joann Collier, Christi Kugler, Krista Hawkins and Sarah Pierce, (third row): Joshua Miller and Brian Quinn.