Eight NOC nursing students celebrated graduation last Friday night at the Renfro Center at NOC Tonkawa. Front Row (L-R): Kaylee Terry, Tara Mueggenborg, Saeble Harp. Back Row (L-R): Adrianna Lopez, Kacie Platt, Rebecca Gordon, Meliah Boyd, Amber Drapalla. (photo courtesy of Cope Photography)
The Spirit of Nursing Award was presented to nursing graduate Tara Mueggenborg, presented by nursing instructor Dr. Vickie Crouch. (photo courtesy of Cope Photography)
The Preceptor Award was presented to Brianna Tom. Accepting the award was Amber Drapalla with Dr. Vickie Crouch. (photo courtesy of Cope Photography)
Eight NOC nursing students graduate in fall ceremony
Eight Northern Oklahoma College Nursing students received their nursing pins Friday night at the Renfro Center at NOC Tonkawa.
Receiving pins were Meliah Boyd (Tonkawa campus), Amber Drapalla (Enid), Rebecca Gordon (Tonkawa), Saeble Harp (Tonkawa), Adriana Lopez (Enid), Tara Mueggenborg (Stillwater), Kacie Platt (Tonkawa), and Kaylee Terry (Tonkawa).
Dr. Nikole Hicks, NOC Nursing Division Chair, said the event is truly a celebration.
“We are here to celebrate these graduates,” Dr. Hicks said. “Tonight’s event is the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I know these graduates appreciate all their friends and families for their support in what is one of the most difficult degree programs. We are so excited to help them make the transition from nursing student to professional nurse.”
Friday’s guest speaker was Paula Harris, former nurse, nursing instructor, and the wife of NOC President Dr. Clark Harris.
“Paula (Harris) has been such a joy to work with since she joined the NOC family,” Hicks said.
In her remarks, Harris told the nursing graduates, “You have successfully completed your nursing education in the midst of an extraordinary public health emergency. Not only did you survive, but you are stronger for the experience. During a global pandemic you learned how to perform nursing skills and how to think like a nurse. You honed your ability to be resilient, accountable, and responsible. You learned how to be a member of a healthcare team, how to work autonomously and how to provide leadership. All skills that will serve you well as a nurse. During this remarkable journey, you had the support of family and friends many of whom are here to celebrate with you today.”
“Just as the nursing faculty guided you through experiences in the nursing program,” she continued. “You will help patients and their families face the unknown and navigate the healthcare environment. You will be their anchor in the storm. I encourage you to use the art of nursing presence by being intentional, authentic, and in relationship with your patients and their loved ones. This will actually feed your soul as you work in a complex and often times chaotic work environment.”
“I want to thank you for choosing to enter this rewarding profession in which your life and work touches that of another. I can promise you that you will never be bored, you will make a difference in someone’s life every day that you go to work, you will work hard, and some days you will end your shift and think “what a ride!” The profound work that you do will impact so many people’s lives in a way that you will never know and may never imagine.”
Two awards were presented at the pinning ceremony. Tara Mueggenborg was presented the Spirit of Nursing Award, and the Exceptional Preceptor Award was presented to Brianna Tom of Stillwater Medical Center.
Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.
NOC serves nearly 4,000 students through the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, and NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater. Of these students about 80% receive financial aid and/or scholarships. 75% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.
The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing.
For more information about Northern Oklahoma College please call (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at www.noc.edu.