Graduates of the practical nurse program of Northern Lakes College were honoured June 1 in High Prairie with a traditional ceremony of capping and pinning.
A total of 10 from the Slave Lake campus were among the class of 46 students, with others based in Peace River, Grande Prairie and High Level.
“The cap you are receiving has traditionally represented knowledge and skill and that the wearer of the cap is well-taught and highly capable,” president and CEO Ann Everatt says as she spoke at the ceremony in the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre.
“It in fact is the badge of your profession.
“Nurses, today you enter the honourable profession of nursing, the finest of the arts.”
She recognized the health partners who play key roles.
“Hospitals and clinics in our vast region have been strong supporters and advocates of our program and have provided perceptorships for our students,” Everatt says.
Top marks and efforts by the students were noted by the president.
“I talk far and wide about Northern Lakes College and I often brag about the high achievement levels you continually demonstrate through your Canadian licensing exam and I know you all will be just as successful this year,” Everatt says.
Words of congratulations were expressed by Daniel Vandermeulen, who chairs the board.
“Be proud of your achievements,” says Vandermeulen, who served as NLC president for 18 years until he retired in 2005.
As graduates launch their careers in a highly-respected field, he advised them of the value of their roles.
“You are an important member of a healthcare team and an equal member of the team,” Vandermeulen says.
“You must give everyone dignity.”
Remarks were added from Linda Stanger, CEO of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta.
“You are entering one of the most trusted professions of all time,” Stanger says. “It’s ministry to the soul of people you care for.”
“We celebrate all the hard work you accomplished, and recognize your dedication and strong support.”
She told students they completed top-ranked training.
“You have attended one of the most rigorous practical nurse programs in the country, and we know that as a result you are well prepared to provide safe, competent, and compassionate, care to your patients and the health- care system,” Stanger says.
Jzomuel Vida, the only male in the class, addressed the audience on behalf of the graduates.
“We have learned the true meaning of working as a team,” Vida says.
He specially thanked the instructors.
“They taught us to be caring nurses and to provide the best care for our patients,” he says.
Many of the students also participated in the convocation ceremonies on June 2.