Inaugural Class of Nurses Graduates from Randolph-Macon

News Story categories: Nursing RMC Up Close Student Life
The inaugural class of RMC nursing graduates in front of the fountain

The 2023 Commencement was a momentous one for Randolph-Macon College, as the first graduating class of the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program received their diplomas.

On Saturday, May 27, a day before the campus-wide graduation ceremony, the 36 nursing graduates participated in a pinning ceremony, a tradition that welcomes nurses into the profession. The nursing pin is a symbol of accomplishment, professionalism, and dedication to the nursing profession. It also signifies the completion of rigorous training and education that includes countless hours in classrooms, labs, and clinical settings.

This class showed a remarkable resilience not only in shouldering a challenging course load, but in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic which altered their studies starting in their second semester in the program. During her remarks at the pinning ceremony, Founding Director of Nursing Cindy Rubenstein commended the graduates for their commitment and contributions to a brand-new program.

“You each took a leap of faith with me on the journey of building our BSN program, as did your families,” Rubenstein said. “You became our partners in creating the culture of nursing at RMC. I have watched you grow, learn, and develop into the exceptional nurses and leaders that you are today.”

RMC President Robert R. Lindgren echoed those praises, asserting that this inaugural class has set the watermark for all RMC nursing classes to come.

The inaugural class of RMC nursing graduates receives a Blessing of the Hands during the pinning ceremony

“We are deeply proud of so many things about you,” Lindgren said. “Especially about the way you have set a high standard for preparation–and for the manner in which students coming behind you will likely prepare as a result–and we are proud of your empathy and concern for your patients as well.”

Lindgren also made special mention of Macon ’64 and Joan Brock, whose extraordinary gift helped fund the creation of the nursing program and the construction of its home in Payne Hall.

Rubenstein gave a charge to the graduates to carry the traits that led them to success in their academic careers into their professional careers.

“Remember that nursing is not just a job, but a calling. It requires a commitment to lifelong learning, to compassion, and to patient-centered care. It requires a dedication to excellence and a willingness to go above and beyond to ensure the health and well-being of our patients,” Rubenstein said. “I have no doubt that you will make a positive impact on the lives of your patients, their families, and your communities.”

After the graduates recited the RMC nursing pledge, RMC Chaplain Kendra Grimes concluded the ceremony by asking the graduates, and all healthcare professionals in the auditorium, to rise and receive a  Blessing of the Hands. “May the hands of these nurses be instruments of hope and healing,” she prayed. “May these hands make a difference in the lives of every patient that they touch.”