Graduation/Pinning Ceremony!

As most all of you know, Thomas has been in an intense graduate degree program with a first year emphasis outside of his general scope of knowledge from his bachelor and master’s degree. The second year of school focused on his primary interest but was rigorous and time consuming. Most of these type of programs recommend and highly suggest that you do not work but rather just attend school, study, write papers, perform clinical rotations, and matters of the like, all school oriented. Thomas, however, not just worked but was crazy enough to begin his very own business at the same time of enrollment. He maintained a thriving, successful practice, while at the same time succeeding in his coursework. This, my friends, would make him exemplary enough by most all standards. Many people I have heard of and know have ceased such programs of study based off much less criteria. It’s just that hard, folks.

Our little family at Thomas's BIG day!

Our little family at Thomas’s BIG day!

 

 

And, of course, our family did not stop there. We managed to have a series of trials during his first year, and absolutely unprecedented difficulties and circumstances during his second year of school. Between my hospitalization, which occurred the first week of his second year, causing him to miss the first “block” of graduate classes for his Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program. My first week home with a wired jaw was his week to take the NCLEX nursing exam. That was also the same week we found out my mom had cancer, thus beginning her series of hospitalizations, chemo and radiation appointments, as well as doctor visits, many of which Thomas attend as way of support and knowledge base. Oh…..and we added a daughter to our family as well! Again, many have given up and quit programs of this intensity over much, much less, so his endurance and success proves him to be a caliber above most others. He also managed to complete the course criteria at one of the most prestigious colleges in our state, and the country for that matter, Vanderbilt University.

So, when last Friday marked the end of his academic pursuit of this degree, I cried when he got home, as I hugged his neck. When Sunday came, the time for his pinning ceremony, an event to honor and acknowledge nursing students with a special pin that is reflective of their school and study, I was a bit emotional for the capstone moment it represented.

 

 

Thomas got fancied up and looked quite handsome and really stood out from the rest of the 250 students (especially as one of the 13 males in the program).

The GRADUATE!

The GRADUATE (pre-pinning)

 

The GRADUATE (post-pinning)

The GRADUATE (post-pinning)

Family joined us at the event for the big day and then even more joined us after for a spaghetti celebration at a local restaurant. It was a good time together, enjoying Thomas.

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Family— our support network the past 2 years!

Thomas's proud parents, who were very supportive to us during this journey!

Thomas’s proud parents, who were very supportive to us during this journey!

Thomas and my mom, who likely should have stayed at home but knew that she didn't want to miss his moment for anything so she came anyway (and forced him to take a selfie with her to prove she survived the event)

Thomas and my mom, who likely should have stayed at home but knew that she didn’t want to miss his moment for anything so she came anyway (and forced him to take a selfie with her to prove she survived the event)

Now, with just one more test to go (a licensure exam), Thomas is ready to take his private practice as a Mental Health Therapist to the next level. He will also be teaching some clinical courses for a local university at a psychiatric hospital/unit. Additionally, he is entertaining offers from various other companies for some part time work, looking to find the best fit for him and our family in the process.

It is such a huge sigh of relief to have him through this program. The intensity for him and our family has been much, but we’re glad to see him walk this path to fulfillment. I know, full well, that his dedication, wisdom, and knowledge will not go without favor and promise for him and our family in the years to come. Babe, I am so proud of you, I shall now call you by all your initials, my sweet RN, MA, MSN, LPC-MHSP, PMHNP, BC  (how’s that for a signature??!!)

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Being pinned by the Dean of Nursing as VU.

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3 thoughts on “Graduation/Pinning Ceremony!

  1. Wow!! Congratulations to ALL of you!!! David got his M.Div last year, after traveling regularly to complete the most intense part of his coursework during Zoe’s first few months of life…I felt like the entire family had earned that degree!!! You must feel even more so this way! What a great accomplishment.

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