VICTORVILLE — Last week, 35 Victor Valley College nursing graduates participated in a pinning and candlelight ceremony to celebrate their completion of one of the nation’s most elite nursing programs.
The ceremony was held at High Desert Church in December to honor the nursing class of Fall 2019. Dressed in traditional white uniforms, the future registered nurses each recited the International Nursing Pledge.
Part of the pledge reads: “I will endeavour to keep my professional knowledge and skill at the highest level and to give loyal support and cooperation to all members of the health team.”
Interim Director of Nursing Renate Longoria explained that the ceremony symbolizes the end of the many challenges that the students overcame throughout the strenuous program. She said the knowledge they gained has not only enabled them to become registered nurses, but has also made them “more confident individuals.”
Longoria introduced various notable figures present at the ceremony, including the VVC Board of Trustees, and thanked the family and friends of the graduates for their continued support.
Reyna Monroy, vice president of the California Nursing Students’ Association (CNSA) for the class, recognized the cabinet members of CNSA and shared some highlights of the program.
“The purpose of the CNSA is to prepare the future leaders of nursing, by ‘advancing the transition from student nurse to a professional nurse through leadership, education, mentorship and advocacy,’” she said. “This year we participated in many events that gave back to the community.”
Among these events, the class collaborated with the Victor Valley Rescue Mission to serve hot meals and provide health care services in the community, assisted the Hesperia Leisure League in collecting clothes for senior citizens at Spring Valley Post Acute and worked with the VVC Associated Student Body in placing 3,000 flags in honor of the victims of September 11th, 2001.
Monroy also introduced instructor Diana Sisk, who was honored with the Fall 2019 “Make a Difference” award.
As a class, the students voted on one staff member who they felt helped them make it through the program.
“(Diana) was available all year round,” Monroy said. “She personally came to sit with you when you didn’t understand something and sat with you until you understood.”
Class of Fall 2019 President Adrian Gonzalez-Carrillo also spoke before his peers, sharing some of his favorite memories from the program as well as the challenges faced throughout.
“This nursing program has shaped us all into people that we could have never imagined, and though getting to this point was not easy, I want to say thank you to everyone who stood by us and for seeing us through,” Gonzalez-Carrillo said. “…As all of us go out to step foot into our new careers and with some of us going on to continue our education, I want to say no matter what you do or wherever this amazing career takes you, continue to strive, continue to succeed, and continue to aspire to make a difference.”
Student Achievement awards went to four graduates with the highest grade point averages: Aleksey Sebryakov, Emily Rodriguez, Ashley Hay and Reyna Monroy.
Clinical Excellence awards went to Irina Cruse for medical surgery, Brittany Robinson for advanced medical surgery, Adrian Gonzalez-Carrillo for maternal/child, Luis Rosas for pediatrics and Dawn Jabonillo for mental health. The Student Leadership Award went to Justine Gómez.
VVC’s nursing program is among the nation’s most elite. In California, it is ranked among the top 5 programs by several surveys, including RegisteredNursing.org, which ranks it as No. 4 and praises it for producing graduates who are “ready to work.”
The entire graduating class of Fall 2019 is as follows: Amanda Agrusa, Ashley Alberts, Rosalinda Anguiano, Angela Buck, Carmira (Karma) Cortez, Irina Cruse, Me’Shell Davis, Gretchen Dennison, Nathalie García, Sean Fall, Naomi Flores, Brandon Foster, Michael García, David Gaul, Justine Gómez, Adrian Gonzales-Carrillo, Ashley Hay, Audrey Hayes, Dawn Jabonillo, Melissa Jaramillo, Cassidy Jones, Jonette Kruk, Jessica Maley, Reyna Monroy, Jennifer Porón Barrios, Brittany Robinson, Christina Rodriguez, Emily Rodriguez, Luis Rosas, Aleksey Sebryakov, Elizabeth Seidler, Shana Strathmann, Gladys Thompson, Rhiannon Torres, Jennifer Will.