Taking a step closer to becoming registered nurses, 37 men and women from across Yavapai County marked the completion of their associate of applied science degrees during a traditional pinning ceremony May 11 at the Yavapai College Prescott campus.

Successful students from the Prescott and Verde Valley YC campus nursing programs combined for the family-oriented event that featured an homage to Florence Nightingale – a lamp-lit recitation of the founder of nursing’s solemn pledge. The pledge concludes with, “I will be loyal to my work and devoted towards the welfare of those committed to my care.”

Although passing a state exam is the next and final step to RN status, many of the degree-earning nurses from YC’s acclaimed program are already employed in healthcare facilities countywide. Many plan to pursue bachelor’s and graduate’s degrees in the high-demand nursing field.

In her remarks during the ceremony, YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine acknowledged the challenges graduates overcame to earn their pins. “Our nursing program requires intense study, fortitude, diligence and, as our graduates are well aware, sacrifice – not only for the graduate but the graduates’ loved ones who supported and walked this journey with our students.”

Dr. Rhine encouraged the graduates to “build on what you have learned here” and to prioritize their own health and well-being. “Caregivers often neglect themselves because of the loving nature of their hearts…  It’s only when you are at your best that you can perform at the highest levels and give your best to others.”

Before each nursing graduate made their way to center stage, to accept their pin from a loved one and to reflect on their experience, YC Nursing Program Director Dr. Marylou Mercado presented the following spring 2019 graduating class awards:

  • Spirit, Michelle Hubbard and Patricia King
  • Scholarship, Brianna Gregory and Timber McLain
  • Leadership, Annika Wilson and Shannon Wolfe
  • Information about the YC Nursing Program, how to apply and forthcoming pre-nursing workshops is available on the college website: Or, call 928-776-2017.
  • Following are the latest graduates of the YC Nursing Program at the Prescott and Verde Valley campuses:
  • Joy Bowers, Kelly Burkitt, Hunter Clawson, Mele Lute Colston, Christy Delaney, Felicia Excell, Jena Garner, Samantha George, Jonathan Golin, Brianna Gregory, Michelle Hubbard, Alexia Marie Jones, Dorothy Kimmerle, Trisha King, Darrian Kipena, Marty Matzke, Zachary McCabe, Timber McLain, Kellie O’Connor, Gabriela Olguin Ocampo, Joseph Orsburn, Samantha Pendley, Sarah Quintal, Emily Reed, Brandice Rudolph, Justine Schoshinski, Shelly Selecky, Sierra Shaw, Chandler Smith, Cynthia Stratmann, Kolbie Tafoya, Teri Tapia, Morgan Thornburg, Erin Valencia, Annika Wilson, Shannon Lynn Wolfe, Britene Wright