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WNC Business

Blue Ridge Community College honors 29 nursing students at Nurse Pinning Ceremony

May 16, 2023 10:15AM ● By WNC Business
HENDERSONVILLE - On Wednesday, May 10, Blue Ridge Community College’s Nursing graduates gathered on the Henderson County Campus to celebrate their accomplishments at the 35th annual School of Nursing Nurse Pinning Ceremony.

Director of Nursing Dr. Amy Szoka said the ceremony is a time-honored tradition which represents the completion of instruction and induction into the profession. This month, twenty-nine Blue Ridge students were pinned as part of this rite of passage.

Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College, welcomed the graduates with a hopeful message about the importance of the nursing profession.

“You are needed more than ever in our healthcare facilities here in Western North Carolina and across the nation,” she said. “On behalf of our institution, community, and all those you will serve in the years to come, thank you for choosing this as your life’s work.”

At the ceremony, Megan Lewis won the Clinical Excellence Award for the Health Sciences Campus and Alyse Benjamin won the Clinical Excellence Award for the Transylvania County Campus. Torri McCall won the Outstanding Student award, and Blaine Taylor won the award for Highest Grade Point Average.

As part of its commitment to workforce development, Blue Ridge Community College expanded its Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program by 20 seats last year to serve up to 74 nursing students annually. ADN students learn from highly qualified faculty in state-of-the-art simulation labs at the College’s Health Science Center in Hendersonville or Transylvania County Campus in Brevard. More information about the program is available at

The following students received pins at the May 10 pinning ceremony:

Rhiannon Barnes
Alyse Benjamin
Regan Birkhead
Kaitlyn Blanken
Katey Brown
Briana Carson
Ashlyn Crowe *
Micah Dwyer *
Annah Eubanks *
Joseph Hall
Caroline Harrelson
Courtney Hoselton
Richard Johnson *
Kasha Jones *
Laura Kelley
Haley Letterle
Megan Lewis *
Torrie McCall
Jessica Morris
Casie Parker
Kristina Richardson
Norma Renteria
Brandi Rhodes
Alyssa Ritchey *
Matthew Ryan
Blane Taylor
Brittany Watkins-Krukowski
Emily Whiteside *
Wendy Whitt

* Indicates enrollment in the WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses Program (RIBN) with dual enrollment in the Western Carolina University School of Nursing.

About Blue Ridge Community College: 
Blue Ridge Community College is a two-year, postsecondary institution that elevates the educational experience to prepare students for 21st century success in the workplace or at four-year colleges and universities. Providing real-life, affordable, and accessible education, the College offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates; more than 200 online courses; and fast-tracked job training. To learn more about Blue Ridge Community College, visit

Photo by Rich Keen