JCJC Practical Nursing program graduates’ futures are “bright”

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2018-08-22 19:34:28

ELLISVILLE – Twenty-two practical nursing program graduates from Jones County Junior College culminated their year in college with a pinning and commencement ceremony. Part of a tradition in the ceremony takes graduates back to the days of the Crimean War when Florence Nightingale searched for the wounded soldiers by lamplight. JCJC nursing instructors led the graduates in the ceremony by lighting their lamp shaped candle holders and reciting the Practical Nurses’ Pledge before family and friends. While the glowing lamps lit up their faces on the stage, graduates reminisced and envisioned their futures.’ Katrina Sumrall of Heidelberg said some of her family’s trials led her to this occupation.
“My husband’s health issues led me to focus my nursing career in the area of wound care because it takes a special person to do it. I have the experience because of problems my husband has experienced with diabetes. Wound care is also rewarding because you can see progress and that feels good,” said the 39-year old Sumrall.
Before she could realize her dreams, however, Sumrall had to quit her job at Central Sunbelt and enlist the help of her kids, 17-year old Savannah, 14-year old A.J., nine-year-old Olivia and six-year-old Jonah. Doubt plagued her.
“I tried to come back to college for the last 20 years but I had to work to support our family. The hard part about going back to school was I always felt like I never had enough time for family so I always put it off,” Sumrall said.
Realizing “mom” had put her dreams on hold, Sumrall’s kids assured her they could adapt.
“Mom didn’t know if she was making the right decision but we pushed her to do what she wanted to do. I had to ‘step-up’ and help. I kind of became like a second mom,” said Savannah.
Sumrall’s nine-year-old daughter, Olivia said she is proud of her mom.
“I think it’s really cool that she finally gets to be a nurse!”
JCJC VP of Business Affairs, Rick Youngblood congratulated the students and awarded diplomas. He also expressed his appreciation for choosing a career that intentionally helps people. 
“You learned a lot about yourself. Think about the experiences you’ve made, the sacrifices you’ve made, the sacrifices your family has made. This was not an ordinary year. This was a monumental chapter in your life and it was difficult. Today we celebrate the culmination of all of your accomplishments and everything you’ve done,” said Youngblood.
Practical Nursing Program Director, Teresa McDonald and instructor, Cynthia May pinned graduates and gave them their lamps to remind graduates of the light they bring to their future patients. Graduates pledged to also remember their responsibilities to keep the flame alive in those whom they care for, and to adhere to the code of ethics of the profession of nursing. For more information about the JCJC Practical Nursing Program, call 601-477-4101 or email, teresa.mcdonald@jcjc.edu.
Graduates Name, Home Town & High School
Hannah Brooks, Laurel-Laurel Christian Home Educators
Merry Cole, French Camp-Terry High School
Kristy Dyess, Bay Springs-Mandeville High School
Laken Edwards, Richton-Perry Central High School
Kelian Ferrill, Jackson-Forest Hill High School
Chelsea Gibson, Hattiesburg-Petal High School                   
Shaquavous Harris, Waynesboro-Wayne County High School
Courtney Ponder, Seminary-Sylva-Bay Academy
Latonya Lyons, Monticello-Lawrence County High School
Victoria Matos, Hattiesburg-Oak Grove High School
Hannah Middleton, Mize-Brandon High School
Carolann Moranville, Petal-Petal High School
Lakyn Perry, Ellisville-South Jones High School
Krista Pryor, Laurel-Stringer Attendance Center
Rosa Reedy, Hattiesburg-Oak Grove High School
Katrina Sumrall, Heidelberg-American School (Home School)
Brigit Taylor, Jackson-Jim Hill High School
Christa Tickner, Laurel-Northeast Jones High School
Robert Vicknair, Rio Rancho, NM-Petal High School
N'Tyrhee Watts, Sandy Hook-West Marion High School
Christy Weathersby, Hattiesburg-Oak Grove High School
Courtney Williams, Hattiesburg-Hattiesburg High School 


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