The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), Nursing Department held its annual Pinning Ceremony in Theatre One at 199 Chambers Street on May 30. Dressed in crisp white uniforms, the 57 graduates for Spring 2018 marched into the auditorium to “Pomp and Circumstance” as proud family, friends and others cheered them on.
BMCC President Antonio Pérez welcomed the audience and Erwin Wong, Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction as well as Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty offered further remarks. Karrin Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, told the graduates that choosing to be a nurse is a special calling.
“As nurses, you will be doing something significant for society, both patients and their families, and for that I want to thank you,” said Wilks.
In the weeks to come, the BMCC graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (RNs).
Nationwide, demand for Registered Nurses is expected to increase 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all other occupations, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS).
The need for nurses will likely be driven by an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and the need for healthcare services for the aging Baby-Boomer population, according to the USBLS.
BMCC offers both a full-time and a part-time, evening and weekend nursing programs for students who wish to become Registered Nurses.
BMCC nursing graduate Sandra Shamburger is a former member of the East German swim team and had been teaching swimming over the past few years. “In five years, I plan to either be a mid-wife or a nurse practitioner,” said Shamburger, who was ready to make a career change.
Graduate Carl Shimkin, said he felt both relieved and accomplished after completing the challenging program.
“This is a second career for me, and I was attracted to nursing because it is so meaningful and important, and that I get to help people,” said Shimkin, a former filmmaker and producer.
A native of New York City, Shimkin plans to look for opportunities outside of tri-state area and explore other parts of the country.
BMCC Nursing Department Chairperson Judy Eng said the pinning ceremony is a celebration for all the “stress and tears” students experience as they earn their degree.
“We didn’t ‘give’ this Associate Degree in Nursing to graduates — they earned it,” she said. “They don’t realize how hard they’ve worked, until this moment.”
Keynote speaker for the event was Yasmin Henry, Head Nurse, Educator, Clinical Affiliations Coordinator at Metropolitan Medical Center, NYC Health and Hospitals.
The Nursing Department also presented several special awards for the morning, afternoon and evening class sections including:
Nursing Award for Academic Excellence; Eter Bardanashvili, Dshania Lettsome and Carl Shimkin.
The Professional Development Award: Larisa Ochikova, Evelyn Paulino and Monica Rivera.
The Nursing Humanitarian Award: Sara Acosta, Nabina Khanal and Stephen Otteng.
The Best All Around Student: Kristen Buckley, Melissa Farmer, Stephen Otteng.
The Aubrey T. Robinson Award for Leadership, Intelligence, Compassion and Humor: Carl Shimkin.
The Sylvia Vincent Corliss Award for Intelligence, Caring and Humor: Monica Rivera.
The class of 2018 includes; Sara Acosta, Mayra Arcentales, Anika Arismendez, Ensa Badjie, Eter Bardanashvili, Yanique Black, Dmitry Bloomberg, Kristen Buckley, Mary Burgos, Qiling Chen, Zhong Chen, Arnaldo Cruz, Kinga Debowski, Charneil Donegan, Brittney Douce, Michelle Douglas, Melissa Farmer, Dyhia Fedoul, Alina Grinberg, Laurel Hom, Stephen Hughes, Nabina Khanal, Dina Kifayeh, Doma Lama, Raquel Lessey, D’shania Lettsome, D’shania Lettsome, Yuan Yuan Liu, Luis Madrid, Tzipora Montaine, Malda Muho, Nadezda Nevinskaya, Jenny Ng, Larisa Ochikova, Jasmine Olivo, Stephen Otteng, Foster Owusu, Evelyn Paulino, Sonia Piekarczyk, Cashima Pondt, Monical Rivera, Lisa Rodriguez, Yaquelyn Rodriguez, Maryia Rud, Habiba Salisu, Sandra Shamburger, Carl Shimkin, Olha Skyba, Maria Fernanda Soto, Brittney Taylor, Paldon Tenzin, Lianee Torres, Lilet Tubiak, Yanisda Vasquez, Lyudmyla Vitenko-Reynolds, Marion Williams and Melania Wozniak.