BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - In lieu of a traditional graduation, two colleges held socially distanced celebrations Tuesday to honor nursing students.
MGCCC held a virtual ceremony for its nursing graduates. While the commencement ceremony looked a lot different from years past, the graduates were just as eager as those who have come before them.
MGCCC’S 2020 School of Nursing and Health graduates were honored virtually through a live stream.
“We were on a Group Me and anytime one of our names were called we would be like ‘Yay!’” said graduate Crystal Nguyen.
Crystal and her classmates celebrated virtually, too. Even with these efforts, though, Crystal said she and her class missed being with each other for this big moment in their lives.
“I feel kind of let down a little bit that not everyone was actually able to attend it and be there and see each other again,” said Nguyen. “My classmates and I missed each other a little bit because we never got to say goodbye.”
They never got to say goodbye because once the pandemic began, everything went virtual. Tabatha Hunter, a nursing student, completed her preceptorship online.
“We were not able to do that in the hospital so we had to do it at home,” she said. “It was kind of upsetting to not be able to do it and get that experience on the floor, but what the school provided for us worked out and we were still able to graduate so that was what we were all aiming for and hoping the school would figure out a way to get us to that next step. “
And make it to the next step they did! Both Crystal and Tabatha have accepted and are currently working at jobs in their field.
Pearl River Community College also celebrated nursing graduates on Tuesday. The college held a drive-thru ceremony for its practical nursing grads.
Instructors cheered on their students from a distance as a family member for each graduate performed the pinning. Twenty-three of the 42 students in the program were pinned.
“Practical nursing is a very challenging program, even without the difficulties related to a global pandemic. These graduates endured and succeeded,” said PRCC District Wide Practical Nursing Department Chair Dr. Melissa Bryant.
“As they get ready to embark on their careers as practical nurses, we can all feel reassured knowing that each will practice nursing in the Wildcat Way with pride, respect, class and character. Wildcats Never Quit.”