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STC Proudly Graduates over 170 Nurses

Leading the way in Nursing Education

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Marking the commencement of their professional journey, 120 Associate Degree in Nursing and 59 Vocational Nursing graduates recently took part in a cherished pinning ceremony, a rite of passage honored by nurses worldwide. STC Image
Marking the commencement of their professional journey, 120 Associate Degree in Nursing and 59 Vocational Nursing graduates recently took part in a cherished pinning ceremony, a rite of passage honored by nurses worldwide. STC Image
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By Selene Rodriguez

As the top producer of nurses in Texas, South Texas College recently graduated an outstanding total of 179 nursing graduates and honored them in a traditional pinning ceremony.

“Over 100 graduates, what an accomplishment,” said STC Vice President of Academic Affairs Anahid Petrosian, Ph.D. “We honor their commitment to the noble profession of healing and caring for others. May this pinning ceremony serve as a beacon of hope, igniting your path to touch countless lives and that your expertise is accompanied with kindness and dedication.”

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Marking the commencement of their professional journey, 120 Associate Degree in Nursing and 59 Vocational Nursing graduates recently took part in the cherished rite of passage, honored by nurses worldwide.

: As the top producer of nurses in Texas, South Texas College recently graduated an outstanding total of 179 nursing graduates and honored them in traditional pinning ceremonies. STC Image

“The pinning ceremony, to me, holds a significance beyond walking the stage or passing the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). It’s the true pinnacle, symbolizing your future as a nurse,” said keynote speaker Kathleen Dassler, MSN, chief nursing officer at Rio Grande Regional Hospital and chair of the STC Nursing Advisory Board. “I love this school, its instructors and what it stands for. Witnessing a class of this size warms my heart because, as we all know, we are facing a nursing shortage. Every single one of you is needed.”

After every commencement, STC nursing graduates come together again to celebrate the pinning event, an occasion that not only honors their academic achievement, but their choice of a selfless career dedicated to the well-being of others.

With almost 44 years of experience, Dassler advised the students to take advantage of the countless opportunities available in the world of nursing and to take pride in their unwavering commitment to this noble field.

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“I began my journey in a nursing home, witnessing a lack of connection between nurses, patients and their families. That planted the seed for the type of nurse I aspired to become, and what I hope for you as well,” she said. “Regardless of your chosen career path, carry in your heart the commitment to do your best for your patients every single day, because they need us. Wearing that pin with pride is a powerful representation of that commitment, I hope to see you out there wearing yours proudly.”

In addition to the pinning, graduates also took part in a traditional candle lighting ceremony, paying homage to Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing. 

“In the world of health care, each nurse becomes a beacon of light, offering warmth, comfort and healing to those in need,” said Petrosian. “As our graduates embark on their journey, let us remember that their compassionate care is a valuable gift to humanity.”

For graduate Juan Rosas Rodriguez, this profession represents a genuine chance to succeed in a new country. Nursing is a career he never envisioned when he arrived in the United States in 2003 from (country), conquering language barriers and adapting to an unfamiliar environment.

“I walked through life not knowing what I wanted to be until one day, seven years after graduating high school, I decided to start a Medical Assistant program,” shared Rosas Rodriguez. “Fellow nurses encouraged me to continue my education and to strive to become a nurse, that’s when I found this beautiful profession and enrolled at STC.”

In 2021, Rosas Rodriguez obtained a Vocational Nursing certificate and chose to dedicate a year to work, gaining valuable experience that would empower him to pursue the transition from Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse.

“The past three years of my life have required sacrifices in my social life to fully commit to school and work. Being a father, full-time student and part-time worker has not been easy but it’s worth it,” he said. “I find it truly rewarding to help someone in need.”

His next goal is to join the workforce full-time while going back to STC for a third time to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and get ahead on Emergency Room experience to pursue a Registered Nurse Anesthetists certification.

This is an end goal also shared with Vocational Nursing graduate, Leslie Troncoso, who developed a passion for nursing through family hardships.

“Growing up, my grandmother was always sick, so I was surrounded by nurses. Witnessing their dedication motivated me to pursue this career and help other families,” she said.

With an associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Troncoso made a career switch to health care this year and is grateful for the solid foundation laid by the three-semester program.

“Vocational Nursing is the ideal starting point. I now feel prepared to transition to an associate and bachelor’s degree in the near future,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to become a CRNA and work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).”

For more information about the Nursing programs offered at STC visit nah.southtexascollege.edu/ or call 956-872-3100.

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