Vanguard University will celebrate graduates of the Class of 2016 from its reputable nursing program during the university’s Nursing Pinning Ceremony. The ceremony will be held Thursday, May 5 at 10 a.m. at Newport Mesa Church on the Vanguard University campus in Costa Mesa.
The ceremony will present 40 nursing graduates with a traditional pin containing two symbols—the Florence Nightingale Lamp and the traditional Christian cross—chosen by the inaugural group of students enrolled in the RN to BSN program at Vanguard University. Historically, the nursing pinning tradition can be traced back to the Crusades of the 12th Century; by 1916 it became standard in the U.S. to award all nursing graduates with a pin during a distinct ceremony to show proof of their education.
In addition to the pinning presentation, the program will include remarks given by the Vanguard University president Michael J. Beals, professors from the nursing program, and an address given by Richard Moorehead, ICU nurse for 23 years, and current ICU clinical supervisor at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center.
Moorehead never suspected that he would be headed back to school at age 50. As an ICU nurse at Saddleback Memorial, Moorehead worked in the same facility as Paulette Scherr, a charge nurse and Vanguard University nursing student at the time. She motivated him to pursue his degree, and eventually, Moorehead enrolled and got started. Paulette Scherr graduated Summa Cum Laude from Vanguard University in 2012, and soon after passed away after a battle with cancer. Moorehead knew he had to finish his nursing degree, with Paulette in the back of his mind.
“She was my motivator,” said Moorehead.
Just one month after completing his RN to BSN degree from Vanguard University last December, Moorehead was diagnosed with colon cancer. The news was a shock, and Moorehead found himself on the other side of the nurse’s station, in an operating room at the very hospital where he was employed. After one surgery, and a miraculous discovery of cancer-free lymph nodes, Moorehead was clear of the disease and on his way to recovery. A classmate and friend from Vanguard University’s nursing program, Marthasella Francisco, ended up being his post-surgery nurse at Saddleback Memorial during his nearly 4 days recuperating.
“Now I have been on the other side of things, being a patient in the hospital, and I have learned so much,” said Moorehead. “If I am at the nurse’s station and a person walks up, I know that maybe they are scared, they are uncertain.”
Richard Moorehead completed the RN to BSN program at Vanguard University in December, and will be walking with the Class of 2016 in May. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Laguna Niguel, California.
Vanguard University offers two levels of nursing education—a Registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Both programs provide the theoretical knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for students to advance in the healthcare profession. The programs provided to students are designed to enhance patient well being in today’s complex healthcare environment. Vanguard University’s nursing program partners with hospitals including Western Medical Center Santa Ana and Anaheim, Coastal Communities Hospital and Chapman Medical Center to offer employees tuition discounts to assist nursing professionals advance in their field.
For more information on the 2016 Commencement events, visit www.vanguard.edu/commencement.