Hialeah, Florida – January 24, 2013 – Florida National University (FNU) celebrated their Nursing and Respiratory Therapy graduates with a memorable pinning ceremony. It was history in the making, as it was the first time that FNU’s Respiratory Therapy department held a pinning ceremony for their students.
The nursing students keynote speaker was Mrs. Silvia V. Suarez, Critical Care Educator / CCPS Coordinator at Jackson Health’s System’s Education and Development Department. A missionary in her field, Suarez engaged the nursing graduates by expressing the commitment, dedication, and devotion of the nursing profession. She illustrated her message with vignettes from her personal career. Suarez also stated that patient care is the main priority for nurses, and reminded them to always serve as the patients advocate. A living example to new graduates, Suarez is currently continuing her studies at the University of Miami, where she is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing, specializing in Acute Care and Adult Nurse Practitioner.
The keynote speaker for the Respiratory Therapy portion of the program was Mrs. Earnestine “Mikki” Thompson, Director of Pulmonary Services at South Miami Hospital, a passionate community leader, and delegate to the American Association for Respiratory Care for the state of Florida. Thompson was a bolt of energy as she delivered her speech. She stressed importance of the bonds that should always be present between the nursing and respiratory therapy professionals, to be able to deliver excellent patient care. Her love and dedication to Respiratory Therapy was evident as she addressed the students by highlighting the meaning of celebrating their life’s works, the value of education, and to always be mindful of what they say. She highlighted the various opportunities in the Respiratory Therapy profession, and the future projected growth in this field. She added that these young professionals are the future. Mikki extended an invitation to the new graduates to take the torch we now hand them down and carry it into the new millennium, with the commitment to be great therapists. In closing, Thompson remarked “we stand on the shoulders of others” and left everyone with the recommendation to “always generate, so that when the power is cut off, you can still operate!”
The students were impressed and touched by the solemnity of the pinning ceremony, and expressed their gratitude to FNU for a symbolic, memorable, and special event. Another moving moment occurred when students recognized some of their professors by presenting them with small tokens of appreciation for making an impact in their educational experience.
The pinning ceremony was a testament to the growth and progression of FNU as an educational institution in South Florida, as well as a celebration and recognition of these students’ efforts. Dr. Loreto Almonte, FNU’s Allied Health Division Head, summarized the ceremony by saying that “family and friends attendance, in a room filled to capacity, is an attestation to their commitment and support to the student’s journeys towards earning a university degree. Thus motivating them to enter the workforce and achieve their professional goals. This was evident by the glow of satisfaction and accomplishment in the faces of both graduates and loved ones.”