Aroostook County – Twenty-seven prospective new registered nurses celebrated a milestone as Northern Maine Community College held its annual pinning ceremony.

The important event signifies the official entrance into the nursing field for members of the graduating class.  The graduate are now eligible and prepared to sit for the
            About 350 family members, friends and college personnel gathered for the ceremony held at the Presque Isle Middle School.  The highlight of the event was the presentation of a pin to each graduate by relatives or close friends chosen for their important role as members of the student nurse’s support network.
            Dr. Kimberly Esquibel, chair of the College’s nursing and allied health department, reflected on the hard work faced by student nurses and professional nurses and offered some advice.
“Remember that technology is a means to an end, so don’t let it remove the human element of nursing care in the quest to improve efficiency.  The goal of efficiency should be to give you more time for human contact and to listen,” said Esquibel.  “Every patient’s story is interesting and will always be one of the most vital sources of information.”
            NMCC President Timothy Crowley congratulated the graduates for their accomplishment and singled out Esquibel for her dedication as chair of the department and instructor of 14 years.
            “Dr. Esquibel has high standards and has been at the forefront of the growth in the nursing department which now includes emergency medical services, health information management, medical assisting and medical coding.  So it is with mixed feelings that I announce she will be leaving NMCC to become the Executive Director of the Maine State Board of Nursing.  We are proud of her and wish her well,” said Crowley.
            The guest speaker for the pinning ceremony, chosen by the class, was Greg Thompson, who spent 26 years working in hospital labs and doctor’s offices and over the last 14 years has been the Life Sciences instructor at NMCC.
            “Over the next several years, be prepared to be flexible in your learning.  Some of the changes may be difficult but you are well prepared,” said Thompson.
            Student speaker, Kate Michaud of Houlton reminded her classmates:  “You are more capable than you think—don’t limit yourself.  Fall in love with what you do and the rest will fall into place.”
            The ceremony ended with the graduates reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge when they promise to practice the nursing profession faithfully and be devoted to those in their care.
            Southern Aroostook nursing graduates are Cara Brinkerhoff, Kristen McQuade and Meghan Murphy all of Linneus; Kristin Cousins of Hodgdon; Kate Michaud of Houlton; Lizz Sewell of Monticello and Kaitlynn Wellington of New Limerick.
            Central Aroostook nursing graduates are Stephanie Ball, Kimberly Cushman, Megan Davis, Torri Huston, Theresa Lint, Chelsea Quinn, and Donna Noble-Short all of Presque Isle; Stacey Brissette of Perham; Melissa Clapper and Dakota Koch of Wade; Tammi Flint of Easton; Leslie Ann Hart and Becky Millett of Mapleton; Kayla Spooner of Fort Fairfield; Emma Walker of Ashland; and Lillian Walker of Masardis.
            From Northern Aroostook, Casey Violette of Van Buren graduated.
            Graduates from New Brunswick are Becky Brennan and Jolene Haugen both of Perth-Andover, and Jessica Wohlgemuth of Tracey Mills.
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