First class of Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates pinned

The first class of Grove City College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates received their pins Friday during a moving ceremony in the Great Room of the Breen Student Union on campus.

Seniors Emma Clark, of Chicora, Pa., Finnley Coglon, of Morristown, N.J, Sara Layton, of Ford City, Pa., Elizabeth Mackey, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Abigail Montgomery, of Mercer, Pa., and Emily Smyth, of Lancaster, Pa., are the first students to complete the innovative degree program established in 2020.

“We are incredibly proud of the six students who are the very first cohort to graduate with their Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grove City College,” said Dr. Janey Roach, director of the Nursing Program.

The Charles Jr. and Betty Johnson School of Nursing offers a “best of both worlds” program, which includes an excellent Christ-centered academic experience at Grove City College and comprehensive nursing course and clinical training through a partnership with Butler County Community College (BC3.)

This inaugural class earned their associate degree in applied science last year at BC3 that allowed them to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and begin working professionally as a registered nurse during their senior year, which was completely online.

“These women have demonstrated exceptional knowledge and skills during their prelicensure program at BC3. They all successfully passed the NCLEX on their first try, which is a testimony to the BC3 program and to our outstanding students,” Roach said. “The students have demonstrated their ability to not only embrace the rigor of Grove City College’s BSN program, but they did this while providing care to patients across Pennsylvania and in New Jersey.

The pinning ceremony is a nursing tradition dating back to the nineteenth century that was inspired by the Maltese Cross worn by Crusaders. The pins, unique to each school of nursing, symbolize service and represent the knowledge and skills critical to nursing.

In addition to receiving their pins, the graduating students recited the Modern Nightingale Pledge, an oath of service to humanity, professional practice, and, above all, patient care. Former Nursing professor Virgina Seybold spoke at the ceremony. With Roach and Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Janet Skees, Seybold was key to establishing the program in 2020.

Smyth said she and fellow nursing graduates “weren’t your typical Grove City college students.” Between splitting their second and third years of college between two schools and working – full time in a critical care unit in Smyth’s case – while taking online classes during their final year, it was a tricky balance.

“The program did come with many sacrifices, and there were several bumps in the road that came up along the way, but I wouldn’t have traded our experience for anything … Overall, looking back I’m so glad that I did it and that we have all made it to graduation. It is such a rewarding feeling,” Smyth said.

“I really enjoyed my time at both schools,” Montgomery said. “BC3 nursing courses and clinical rotations offered us the opportunity to learn from instructors who have had many years of experience as both nurses and professors. Grove City College humanities and general education courses gave us a foundation of academic excellence and surrounded us in Christian community.”

Montgomery, who is working at a local pregnancy center, said the program provided “a well-rounded and unique experience that I believe has prepared us well for being compassionate, caring nurses who are able to serve the Lord through serving our communities.”

The women in the first BSN class said they bonded over their unique collegiate journey. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to go hand in hand through the program with and I’m so glad I had all of them by my side along the way,” Smyth said. Montogomery said the shared sense of accomplishment and camaraderie with her classmates was critical to her experience. “We have always cheered each other on and seeing each of them persevere and succeed in what God has called them to has been one of my favorite aspects of achieving this degree,” she said.

First class of Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates pinned

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