First class of GCC nursing students earn their pins

The first class of students in Grove City College’s Charles Jr. and Betty Johnson School of Nursing received their pins on Thursday, May 12, marking a key milestone in their educational journey through two rigorous degree programs.

The students are the first cohort in the College’s innovative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, in which students complete major coursework at Grove City College and receive clinical training through a partnership with Butler County Community College.

Juniors Emma Clark, of Chicora, Pa., Finnley Coglon, of Morristown, N.J, Elizabeth Mackey, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Abigail Montgomery, of Mercer, Pa., Emily Smyth, of Lancaster, Pa., and Sara Layton, of Ford City, Pa., have completed that training and will graduate next week from BC3 with associate degrees in nursing.

The pinning ceremony at BC3 is part of a nursing tradition dating back to the nineteenth century that was inspired by the Maltese Cross worn by Crusaders and symbolizes service. The pins are a signifier of the knowledge and skills so important to the practice of nursing.

Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 spoke at the ceremony. He noted the nursing cohort’s “determination, intelligence, self-sacrifice and good old-fashioned grit” in following their calling in service to the common good.

 “When we think about the common good, it is defined as that which is beneficial to all of society. It's a concern for the public good, not private good, not just the advancement of my interests or your interests, but rather our shared interests … Nursing is virtually synonymous with the common good. Nurses heal. Nurses serve. Nurses care for others – all others,” McNulty said.

“There's a lot of talk about a shortage of nurses, and surely the world needs more nurses to keep up with the present and projected level of health care service. That's a very big practical concern, but I would argue that the world needs more nurses because the world desperately needs people of strong character who possess greater devotion to the well-being of our communities. That's who nurses are,” McNulty concluded.

With their BC3 degrees, students are eligible to sit for the RN-NCLEX licensure exam and secure work in the field during their senior year at Grove City College while they complete the coursework for the BSN program. One student already has a job lined up in an intensive care unit.

With their four-year degree from the College, students can secure jobs in the field or continue their studies at the graduate level.

“This first class of BSN students has made enormous progress in their own educational journey and as pacesetters for the Johnson School of Nursing. Earning their pins is an important milestone for them personally and for the innovative partnership between Grove City College and BC3,” said Dr. Janey Roach, director of the Johnson School of Nursing.

Grove City College established the Johnson School in 2019 with a gift from Jayne Rathburn in memory and honor of her parents.

First class of GCC nursing students earn their pins

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