OCtech’s ADN Class of 2018 Receive Their Pins

Photo of ADN Class of 2018
Pictured are members of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College’s Associate Degree Nursing Class of 2018, bottom row, from left, Taylor Hall, Shantanique Givens-Franklin, Ashley Gladden, Ashiel Bryant, Tiffannee Hardin, Evelyn Allen, Elizabeth Dillon, Patrice Burgess; second row, Adeline Fotso, Anna Myers, Katrina Anthony, Scotty Mowell, Desiree Benjamin, Kaitlyn Sawyer, Kimberly Dickey, Anastasia Carrillo, Ashley Bolton; third row, Ariel Hart, Justin Carroll, Lindsey Campbell, Heather Newman, Kasey Dantzler, Crystal Hewitt; back row, Tammy Hallinquest, Caylin Robertson, Jenna Rowley, Britney Irick, Sonia Tamayo and Caroline Roberts.

The Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Associate Degree Nursing program held its annual pinning ceremony Monday, May 14, at First Baptist Church of Orangeburg.

During the ceremony, 29 registered nursing graduates received their pins.

The keynote speaker was Connie Varn, retired ADN program coordinator and adjunct nursing instructor at the college. She congratulated OCtech’s 35th ADN class and encouraged them to believe in themselves, follow their gut instincts and find at least one thing to be grateful for each day.

“Nursing is hard work. It is physically demanding and emotionally draining,” Varn said. “This faculty has a passion for nursing, and I know that passion has been instilled in you. Make every situation an opportunity to learn and grow.”

Caylin Robertson received the award for highest GPA and the Delura R. Knight Spirit of Nursing Award at the ceremony, and Sonia Tamayo was honored for achieving the second-highest GPA. Also receiving special honors were Anastasia Carrillo, President’s Award; Patrice Burgess, Leadership Award; Justin Carroll, Clinical Excellence Award; and Tammy Hallinquest, Best All-Around Award.

In addition, seniors who served as officers or delegates in OCtech’s Student Nurses Association were presented with a blue-and-white honor cord to be worn at graduation.

Hallinquest said the long road she traveled to become a registered nurse was worth every minute. She will soon begin her first nursing job in the critical care unit at the Regional Medical Center.

“I was a secretary,” the 38-year-old mother said of her previous career. “This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but one of the most rewarding. I know it will open up so many avenues for me and my daughter to prosper.”

Carroll, who will also be working in RMC’s CCU, is planning to earn his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of South Carolina starting this fall.

“There’s not a day that’s gone by that I haven’t loved what I was doing,” he said. “Even in class – when you’re sitting there bored out of your mind and thinking, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ – at the end of the day, when you get to clinical and you see your patients’ smiling faces when you walk in their room, it’s all worth it. I’d do it 10 times over if I had the chance.”

OCtech is still accepting admissions packets for its competitive ADN program. All applicants are required to attend a health information program (HIP) session to receive an admissions packet. Online HIP sessions are available. For more information, call 803.535.1224 or visit https://www.octech.edu/admissions/nursing-health-science.

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