Red River Technology Center Graduates 45th Practical Nursing Class
Sixteen Practical Nursing students from Red River Technology Center recently received their pins and diplomas during an unusual graduation ceremony held June 18, 2020, in the RRTC Business and Industry Center parking lot. That’s right…the parking lot.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this class completed their practical nursing training via distance learning, and in following with recommended CDC guidelines, the RRTC administration had to come up with a unique way of celebrating their accomplishments.
Superintendent Dennis Loafman delivered the welcome speech to students and their families as they sat in parked cars, evenly spaced around the lot to manage social distancing.
“This is definitely not how you thought your year would go or how we planned on celebrating your accomplishments,” Loafman said. “However, this is the perfect example that we never know what life will bring us and we couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and dedication you showed in handling this situation and completing this program.”
Before the pinning ceremony began, Practical Nursing Director Amanda Churchman MSN, RN, spoke about some of the challenges students faced.
“We all did something that has never been done before and your instructors could not be more proud of you,” she said. “And we don’t want to even get started on the Zoom call problems! But you guys stuck with us, we all got through it together, and this class will always be bonded in a special way because of it.”
After praising the students, Churchman announced some honors and awards the nursing students received during the school year. Those receiving awards on the night of graduation were:
Michelle Johnson, Karrie Patton, Kammi Snodgrass, and Smantha Solomon were all named Outstanding Practical Nursing students for the 2019-2020 school year. This award would have normally been presented during the annual RRTC student awards assembly.
Brittany McBride was named Outstanding Fellow Student by a vote of her peers.
Sarah Whiteman received the Award for Outstanding Theory Knowledge and Kimberly Breeze received the Award for Outstanding Clinical Practice. Duncan Regional Hospital – Tower Three received an award for Best Clinical Facility, and Aley Morales, RN, and nurse on Tower Three at DRH, received the Nursing Mentor Award.
Kimberly Breeze, Kasey Beavers, Brittany McBride, and Sarah Whiteman represented the top 10 percent of the 2019-2020 Practical Nursing class and were inducted into the National Technical Honor Society during a ceremony held in early March.
Several students also placed at the HOSA-Future Health Professionals State Leadership Conference, which was held online this yeara due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students placing were: Jessica Sikes, first place, Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking; Mallory Bearce, Kadie Ellis, Aubrey Ottwell, and Karrie Patton, second place, Creative Problem Solving; Brittany McBride, second place, Health Care Photography; and Kirsten Litke, third place, Biomedical Laboratory Science.
Churchman introduced the graduates, who came one at a time from their cars, while Practical Nursing instructors Krissy Bohn MSN, RN, and Liz Baxter MSN, RN, presented diplomas and nursing pins to the graduates, while each graduate was pinned by a member of their family.
The 2019-2020 graduates are: Jessica Sikes, Kasey Beavers, Samantha Solomon, Kirsten Litke, Brittany McBride, Michelle Johnson, Kimberly Breeze, Bailey Wesberry, Mallory Bearce, Haley Clark, Maya Luna, Aubrey Ottwell, Kammi Snodgrass, Sarah Whiteman, Karrie Patton, and Silver Boston.