PIKEVILLE - The University of Pikeville College of Arts and Sciences recently honored 27 new nurses, the largest class to graduate from the Elizabeth Akers Elliott Nursing Program. During a special ceremony, students were pinned by nursing faculty, reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge against the backdrop of a beautiful candle-lit ceremony. The traditional ceremony dates back to the 1860s and was adopted by Nightingale as a way to honor her most outstanding graduate nurses.
“I am proud to present the expansion of our nursing programs. This includes these 27 associate degree graduates, the largest number in the history of UPIKE’s nursing program, and our first class of RN-BSN graduates,” said Mary Rado Simpson, chair of the division of nursing.
Andrea Jade Pavlik of Pikeville was the recipient of the Elizabeth Akers Elliott Award, selected by the nursing faculty as the student who “best exemplifies the caring compassion and empathy that are the very spirit of nursing.” The award also holds special significance for the family of Elizabeth Akers Elliott, as they established a trust fund to launch a nursing program in her memory. The Elliott family has been faithful in supporting the program since its inception.
The Outstanding Nursing Student Award, an honor bestowed by fellow classmates to the nursing student they would “most like to have care for themselves or their family,” was presented to Betty C. Robinette of Varney. Julie K. Johnson of Shelby Gap received the Vivian Day Award, presented to the graduate earning the highest grade-point average in nursing courses.
The 2013 UPike nursing class included Tara Lynn Mullins of Jenkins; Cassie Marie Justice of Hardy; Holly Noel Harris of Pikeville; Caitlin Victoria Berniece Collier of Pikeville; Brianna Inis Nicole Edmiston of Belfry; and Christie Hobson of Pikeville. Second row, from left: Susan Melody Coleman of Elkhorn City; Robin Louann Adkins of Pikeville; Laura Elizabeth May of Elkhorn City; Samantha Shondale Sanders of Shelbiana; Andrea Jade Pavlik of Pikeville; Lillie Marie Dotson of Phelps; and Keisha Nicole Dotson of Phelps. Third row, from left: Betty Christine Robinette of Varney; Whitney Briana Dotson of Phelps; Allison Nicole Matney of Phyllis; Madonna Lynn Fields of Robinson Creek; Zita Epling of Elkhorn City; Julie Katherine Johnson of Shelby Gap; and Paula Cathryn Worley of Breaks, Va. Fourth row, from left: Casey Renae Chaney of Virgie; Wayne Shepherd of Pikeville; Bethany Jordan Workman of Lenore, W.Va., Wesley Davis of Kimper; Dustin Heath Hamilton of Harold; Cortney Dawn Smallwood of Dorton; and Cody Dwayne Thacker of Pikeville.