Blackhawk Nursing Hosts December 2023 Pinning Ceremony

December 15, 2023


Row 1: Heather Holbrook, Nicole Lankford, Rachel Goff, Cori Nolan, Emilio Ramierez, Julianna Poe, Kristen Rinehardt, Elena Herrera. Row 2: Kristen Rudnitzki, Dana Sayles, Laci McKaig, Jeanette Coppernoll-Schultz, Jordan Calley, Itzel Bernal, Carolina Delgado, Destiny Hambrock. Row 3: Laurisha Rosario, Mallary Fox, Whitney Connors, Lauren Comella, Lexis Duncan, Rachell Draper, Darcy Fredrickson, Jordyn Bickle, Jill Winslow. Row 4: Carson Richards, Melanie Schmidt, Hanna Field, Jacob Warthen, Angel Hayward, Jessica Keller, Cheyenne Stewart, Alannah Bennett.

Thirty-three graduating Nursing students were celebrated on Thursday evening in a special pinning ceremony for their completion of the Associate Degree in Nursing.

“How many times did we think we would never see this pinning ceremony? That we’d never see our names printed in this program? The last two years have been daunting, exhausting and rigorous. I just want us to take a moment to realize that we made it,” Lauren Comella, graduate and student speaker, told her fellow graduates.

The pinning ceremony is a rite of passage for nursing graduates. The tradition began in the 1860s when Queen Victoria awarded Florence Nightingale the Red Cross of St. George to recognize her service as a nurse during the Crimean War. Nightingale, who is credited as the founder of modern nursing, wanted to share this recognition. She later presented medals to her nursing students.

At Blackhawk, each nursing student designates a person in their life to “pin” them. That person – often a family member or friend – presents the graduate with a pin.

Led by nursing graduate Cheyenne Stewart, the graduates also recited the Nightingale Pledge, which is often cited at pinning ceremonies for nurses and is like the Hippocratic oath that is recited by new physicians.

Itzel Bernal received the Students’ Choice Award. The students voted for one classmate who’d they like caring for them or their loved ones.

Many of the graduates have already been hired by area health care providers. Jobs range from neonatal, geriatrics and mental health care. Several also are going on to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Congratulations to the December 2023 Nursing Graduates:

  • Alannah Bennett
  • Itzel Bernal
  • Jordyn Bickle
  • Jordon Calley
  • Lauren Comella
  • Whitney Connors
  • Jeanette Coppernoll-Schultz
  • Carolina Delgado-Vasquez
  • Rachell Draper
  • Lexis Duncan
  • Hanna Field
  • Mallary Fox
  • Darcy Fredrickson
  • Rachell Goff
  • Destiny Hambrock
  • Angel Hayward
  • Elena Herrera
  • Heather Holbrook
  • Jessica Keller
  • Nicole Lankford
  • Laci McKaig
  • Cori Nolan
  • Julie Poe
  • Emilio Ramirez
  • Carson Richards
  • Kristen Rinehardt
  • Laurisha Rosario
  • Kristen Rudnitzki
  • Dana Sayles
  • Melanie Schmidt
  • Cheyenne Stewart
  • Jacob Warthen
  • Jill Winslow

Blackhawk’s December commencement ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19. The event will be broadcasted beginning at 6 p.m. at

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