Nursing Pins Bestowed to 88 SCF Nursing Graduates

(Bradenton, Fla., May 5, 2023) State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) awarded 88 nursing students their nursing pins May 5 at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center. The pinning ceremony included welcome remarks from Dr. Tammy Sawmelle, SCF’s assistant dean of nursing. Nakita Kiger, who received her nursing pin from SCF in 2018 and now works as a clinical coordinator in the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, was the guest speaker. The nurses that received their pins during the ceremony completed Associate in Science in nursing degrees (ASN) and are now eligible to become certified as a registered nurse (RN). SCF’s 38 Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program graduates were also recognized.

Graduate Emily Mioduszewski’s peers selected her as the student speaker. Faculty participants included Michele Tomaino, Laura Cochardo, Holly Park and Elizabeth Elliott. Cochardo, Elliott and Park served as faculty readers to announce each graduate. Tomaino spoke on the tradition of pinning ceremonies, from its roots in the 12th century crusades to the introduction of the modern tradition by Florence Nightingale in the 19th century.

Chelsea Ritchie received the Pat Kuebler Memorial Scholarship for exhibiting potential for excellence in planning and implementing patient care, qualities Kuebler exemplified. Pat Kuebler was an assistant administrator in charge of nursing for Sarasota Memorial Hospital before joining SCF, then Manatee Junior College, as an instructor. While teaching for four years, she had a profound effect on her students before passing away from cancer in 1981. In 1985, the nursing department of Manatee Memorial Hospital, made up of many of her former students, established the scholarship in her name for students who display her character, compassion and dedication to nursing.

Laura Cochardo received the Future of Nursing Award. The award honors an SCF nursing faculty or staff member who has impacted the future of patient care with their exemplary dedication to SCF nursing students.

For information about SCF’s nursing program, visit For more information on creating a memorial scholarship, contact Cassandra Holmes at

Nursing Pledge

Photo caption: Graduating nurses recite the International Pledge for Nurses at the conclusion of Friday’s pinning ceremony.

Photo credit: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota


Nikita Kiger

Photo caption: Guest speaker Nikita Kiger delivers remarks at the SCF Nursing Pinning on Friday.

Photo credit: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota


Student Speaker

Photo caption: Graduate Emily Mioduszewski speaks at Friday’s Nursing Pinning at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

Photo credit: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

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