AVON PARK, Fla. – May 7, 2024 – South Florida State College (SFSC) honored 37 Associate in Science in Nursing (ADN) students in a traditional pinning ceremony on Friday, May 3 in the Alan J. Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at SFSC on the Highlands Campus in Avon Park.

The graduates are Aila Abuelouf, Tonya Altieri, Francesca Berning, Dalila Eugenio-Badillo, Jasmine Fernandez, Lesli Ferra-Hernandez, Hannah Frazier, Skyler Giles, Kayla Goodstein, Shayla Hightower, Alexandra Huizar, Alecia Hylton, Alexis Johnson, Kaylesha Legree, Karina Lopez, Rebeca Lopez Herrera, Gina Lozada, Gayla Maragh, Melinda Matthews, Mark McGovern, Cristal Miranda, Robert Parker, Samangkita Paudel, Adam Ray Ramirez, Mary Josephine Reyes, Julissa Sandoval, Madison Schaill, Timmiko Smith, RyAnn Snipes, Clara Sooknanan, Mallory Stallings, Jodi Stoops, Naseana Sullivan, Daniel Tello, Mikhos Angelo Torralba, Jameson Wells, and Bethany Young.

Guest speaker for the ceremony was Kayln Villalobos, SFSC coordinator of clinical experience and nursing lab. Each year, Nursing graduates award the Golden D.U.C.K. to someone who has served as a mentor to the students in the program. The D.U.C.K. acronym represents the foundational elements of the mentoring arrangement: Developing, Understanding, Compassion, and Knowledge. Nursing graduate, Aila Abuelouf, presented the 2024 Golden D.U.C.K. Award to Brittany Davidson, SFSC adjunct Nursing instructor.

During the ceremony, the graduates’ loved ones presented them with their individual nursing pins. The graduates, then, passed the flame of a lamp, one to another, before reciting the Nightingale Pledge.

The pinning we know today originated in the 1850s at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Having been awarded the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale chose to extend this offer to her most outstanding graduating nurses by presenting each of them with a medal of excellence. The presentation of the lamp is a symbol of the caring devotion nurses administer to the sick and injured in the practice of nursing. After nurses were pinned, Nightingale would light a lamp and pass the flame to each nurse as they recited the pledge. The passing of the flame represents a formal welcoming of new nurses to the profession.

Graduates of the ADN program become registered nurses by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam. SFSC Nursing graduates are usually fully employed in nursing within a few months of graduation.

SFSC offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a two-year generic Associate in Science in Nursing, a 13-month transition licensed practical nurse to registered nurse Associate in Science in Nursing, and an 11-month Practical Nursing (PN) Career Certificate. For more information about SFSC’s Nursing programs, contact Danielle Ochoa, Health Sciences advisor, at 863-784-7027 or by email at healthsciences@southflorida.edu