‘Changing lives:’ Averett School of Nursing Holds Pinning Ceremony for Graduate Students

Posted on September 2nd, 2022 by Matt Bell

A pinning ceremony was held Wednesday, Aug. 24, in an intimate setting for four Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students who earned their degrees from the Averett University’s School of Nursing after months of rigorous work.

Caroline Hoover, Jennifer Mosher, Rebecca Squier ’20 and Anjanette Miles Thompson all stepped up to be pinned, one by one, by School of Nursing Dean Dr. Teresa Beach as family and friends along with other Averett faculty and staff witnessed the occasion.

Wednesday’s pinning marked the second class of students to complete Averett’s MSN program – the first finishing in December 2021.

Simulation Coordinator and Associate Professor Dr. Karen Oaks explained the role of the family nurse practitioner (FNP) to those in attendance, and shared that when caring for patients, nurses use four senses.

“You’ll use vision, touch, hearing and smell when listening to your patients,” Oaks said. “Remember that every patient is a unique individual. They will share their story in a variety of ways. Your senses will help you put the patient’s story together.”

Oaks shared that Averett’s four MSN students are joining a growing profession of more than 355,000 nurse practitioners licensed to date, compared to 325,000 in 2021 according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Of the 355,000, 69.7% are a FNP.

Beach remarked during the ceremony that the pin is special beyond a memento, and showcases the institution from which they obtained their education.

“When nurses wear the nursing pin, they can be proud of the institution they came from and their achievements. Without the love and support of family and friends, they wouldn’t be here today,” Beach said.

Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks remarked that each of the students have surely felt growth through the coursework they completed amidst juggling families and full-time schedules.

“May you find great fulfillment in knowing that through your patient-centeredness, you are a blessing to those in your care and to their partners and loved ones,” Franks said.

Mosher was awarded the highest grade point average in the class. She is looking into a career in urgent care after she finishes out a contract with Moses Cone in North Carolina.

“Averett has been a school that has always had your back and was great at leading the way,” Mosher said. “With the education and guidance, I’ve learned throughout the last two years how to use the program’s materials, and what I already knew from being in emergency care, how to better further my career in nursing. Averett has provided the building blocks necessary for nursing care in the 21st century and beyond.”

Hoover has a position waiting for her as a hospitalist with Mercy Health, which is based out of Ohio. She is thankful for the support and care of those in Averett’s nursing program. With 25 years of experience in acute care, she decided it was time to return to school for her master’s degree after setting that goal around age 30.

“I had every intention of doing this when I was about 30, and my three children came along. It was just time to go back and do this now,” Hoover said. “It was an extremely supportive online program with professors who were available through email and on the phone. The expectations were high of course, as a graduate program, but there wasn’t anything out of reach that they weren’t willing to assist us with.”

Squier is looking into long-term care and also has a background in acute cure.

“I feel well prepared yet nervous, which I think is human. I am excited to see where I go from here and I’m exponentially grateful for what Averett has allowed me to accomplish so far. The experiences I’ve gained, the wisdom has been absolutely priceless. I continue to recommend Averett to anyone who has any interest in nursing and I will always stay in touch with my professors who have become my mentors,” Squier said.

Thompson enjoyed the family environment at Averett, and the support she received. She is currently working in a primary care facility, and will soon work in a non-profit care facility that focuses on health disparities in African American and Hispanic populations.

“Averett’s School of Nursing has been a family environment that has supported students through their clinicals and studies to make sure we’re prepared to go out and care for the public with compassion, love, the knowledge, and the heart to do so,” Thompson said.

Before the benediction, Director of MSN Clinical Placement Dr. Izy Obi led a blessing of hands to acknowledge the importance of touch and honor in health care.

“No matter what job you accept as a nurse practitioner, you will be changing lives,” Oaks said.