Daniel Castillo, 23, of Copperas Cove, said he has a passion for working in a cardiac department and will start his first job as a registered nurse in February.
“I will work at Baylor Scott & White in STC II, for cardiac care,” Castillo said.
Castillo was one of 31 graduates of the Nursing and Allied Health Department at Central Texas College who were recognized for their passage from student to nurse during a pinning ceremony Dec. 14 at CTC.
Like Castillo, many of the graduates are already lining up jobs in the ever-growing medical field.
“You all did what was necessary to be here at this time. We are all so very proud of you. You did it. You did it as a team. You did it with your faculty, and all of us are very proud of you,” said Dr. Priscilla Clark, chairwoman of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health.
The ceremony began as a procession of the 31 nurses, adorned in white vintage style nursing uniforms. One of the graduate nurses, Anitra Smithey led the invocation, and Janeen Talton led the introduction speech and introduced the guest speaker, Rashidah Nefertiti Danquah.
Danquah, an alumni of CTC’s nursing program, gave a special message to the graduates, and encouraged them in their future.
“Your success is a testament of your endurance and courage. Believe in yourself and your quest to serve mankind,” Danquah.
Out of the 31 graduating students, nine students received recognition for maintaining their GPA in the 3.5 to 3.79 range on the 4.0 scale. One nurse, Maria Villagran was recognized as a highest honors graduate for maintaining a 4.0 GPA in her nursing courses.
Villigran is an Army veteran, and her spouse is serving in the Army. A mother of one son, and working part time as a licensed vocational nurse at a home health agency, Villigran said maintaining her 4.0 GPA in nursing school has been difficult.