Fall nursing graduates celebrated with pinning ceremony

Dec 13, 2021
Newman Nurse Pinning

Twenty-one nursing graduates, their family members and close friends gathered for the fall nurse pinning ceremony on Friday, Dec. 10, at Newman University.

Each semester, students who complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree receive the Newman nursing pin. The token of achievement displays the images of a cross as a nod to Newman’s Christian heritage and a lamp that pays homage to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. The nurse pinning ceremony marks the transition from student nurse to professional nurse.

“Reaching this point has no doubt required determination, courage, curiosity, patience and sacrifice — all things that a career in nursing will demand of you as well,” Newman President Kathleen S. Jagger, Ph.D., MPH, said.

Director of the nursing program Teresa Vetter noted that the graduates would soon be joining the approximately four million registered nurses within the country.

Teresa Vetter gives a newly pinned graduation stole to a nursing graduate.
Teresa Vetter gives a pinned graduation stole to a nursing graduate.

“Always strive to provide quality, safe nursing care,” Vetter advised the graduates. “Remember also to take care of yourself. As part of your professional practice, taking care of yourself is what allows you to take care of others and to do it well.” 

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jill Fort added to the congratulations and noted that the university faculty and staff are proud of each and every one of the nursing graduates.

“To you, the friends and the families who have supported you throughout this difficult journey as well as your faculty members, we will continue to do so on the journey to come,” Fort said. “With that, we say ‘congratulations.’”

2021 Distinguished BSN Graduate Award

The Distinguished BSN Graduate Award is given to a graduating nursing student who has a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the nursing profession and involvement in the Newman and greater Wichita communities.

This year’s honor was awarded to Desiree Cortes.

(From left to right) President Kathleen S. Jagger, Distinguished BSN awardee Desiree Cortes and Teresa Vetter.
(From left to right) President Kathleen S. Jagger, Distinguished BSN awardee Desiree Cortes and nursing program director Teresa Vetter.

Cortes didn’t expect her name to be called, but described the feeling as “a huge honor.”

“It was just incredible to know that my professors saw this potential in me and chose to pursue that and support me throughout my entire journey,” Cortes said. “Honestly, I couldn’t have been here without my family or friends who helped me this whole time.”

In her initial application to the Newman nursing program, Cortes wrote that she knew from her freshman year of high school that she always wanted to be a nurse. She quickly learned through opportunities in high school that nursing perfectly paired her love of serving others with her passion for science and the human body.

(From left to right) Students Desiree Cortes and Kaylee Haught addressed their graduating nursing class.
(From left to right) Students Desiree Cortes and Kaylee Haught addressed their graduating nursing class.

Outside of Newman, Cortes teaches Sunday school and volunteers as an active member of her church. She also volunteers with her college small group with Family Promise of Greater Wichita, a ministry dedicated to helping homeless families reach independence.  

Prepared for quality care

Cortes said she has loved spending time with her patients throughout her undergraduate years at Newman. Even on difficult days, she actively tried to be a light for her patients and to make a positive impact, “even if it was just for 12 hours.”

“That would be my biggest goal — to continue to be a positive light and just to shine God’s grace and love through my entire presence,” Cortes said. 

Fall 2021 nursing graduates
Fall 2021 nursing graduates

Ultimately, Cortes would like to become proficient in conversational and medical Spanish, become a nurse practitioner, and serve as a nurse on international medical rescue teams.

“I’d like to double my passion for nursing as well as my passion for my faith and take that across the world, wherever He leads me to go,” she said.

Earn a Nursing Degree

The Newman University Nursing Program educates students to be a generalist and lays the foundation for graduate school. Graduates of the Newman Nursing Program consistently score higher than the national and state average on the licensure exam.