2021 Nursing Grads Celebrate Pinning

Congratulations to the 2021 Lee College Nursing School Graduates: Lorella Ames, Kimberly S. Bell, Latoya L. Blair, Katrina M. Broussard, Darylynn Carter, Maria Fernanda Chavarin, Hershelle Johnette Christian, Stephanie Michelle Davis, Angelica Estrada, Lorena Garza, Danielle Denise Gladney, Katelyn Elizabeth Granelli, Natalie L. Jackson, Yareli J. Juarez, Maleatria A. Kitchen, Sonia Renee Lansford, Samantha Lara Lerma, Natalie Kay Martin, Jazmine Iris Martinez, Joselyn Mendoza, Sarah A. Monaghan, Tara Faith Priddy, Rachael B. Reynolds, Regina Lee Roach, Jacob M. Rogers, Kelsey Ann Caluyo Roque, Joselyn Rosas, Sheri Dawn Taylor, Ifeoluwa Eunice Temi-Ogunyemi, Samantha Kaye Thrush, Guadalupe Velazquez, Lakeshia L. Walker, Jessica Renee Whitehouse, and Guadalupe Zepeda.

After overcoming unprecedented challenges surrounding the pandemic, the Lee College Nursing Class of 2021 celebrated its long-awaited pinning ceremony last Thursday with 34 graduates proudly completing the nursing program.

According to Dr. Janena Norris, dean of nursing and allied health at Lee College, the class of 2021 is an extraordinary class worth celebrating because of their determination, willpower, and drive to succeed.

Nursing graduates in white uniforms standing in an arena next to chairs holding symbolic lamps.
2021 Lee College Nursing School graduates are shown at the traditional pinning ceremony. Faculty members present the nursing pin to new graduate nurses as a symbolic welcome to the profession.

“The class of 2021 has endured an overwhelming amount of challenges. With the restrictions of the pandemic, they had to overcome challenges in getting clinical placements to complete required hours and complete many of their courses online rather than in person. The stress of having nursing school without peers and faculty around them daily created another challenge. Some of them also battled personal hardships and struggles as well,” said Norris.

Most 2021 Lee College nursing school graduates were from the Baytown area with some traveling from as far away as Humble, Texas.   

Norris said many of the 2021 graduates have already received job offers and can enter the workforce with a graduate nurse permit. While they must still take their state board licensing exam and pass to obtain their permanent nursing license, they can begin work with a graduate nurse permit.

Female nursing graduates in white uniforms and masks holding symbolic lamps.
The lamps symbolize knowledge that is passed from instructor to graduate nurse.

“Nursing school is extremely hard even during perfect circumstances, but surviving nursing school amidst a global pandemic is really remarkable,” said Norris. “We are so proud of them and can’t wait to see the big things they accomplish.”

Regina Roach, a Lee College 2021 nursing school graduate said there was a brief period during the height of the pandemic when she wasn’t sure she would make it through the program.

“There was a point when we were homeschooling our three kids, our nursing classes were delayed, none of us had ever taken online classes before, and I came close to quitting,” said Roach. “But my nursing friends and I stuck together and the instructors were so supportive. They still text us and call us to encourage us. The staff is really amazing.”

As a second-career nurse, Roach said she always felt like God made her to serve others, but she never considered nursing until after she delivered her first child in a hospital. From that point on, she felt called to be a nurse.

“I had no idea what nursing school was going to be like going into it,” said Roach. “School was never difficult for me, but nursing school is a whole different world. I studied like it was my fulltime job.”

Four females in white uniforms and masks holding symbolic lamps.
Roach (center right) is shown with her support system and fellow nursing graduates.

Although nursing school is a lot of hard work, Roach said it is extremely rewarding to know that you can accomplish your dreams. She encouraged anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in nursing to go for their dreams and to look into what the nursing program at Lee College has to offer.

“Just go for it,” Roach said to anyone interested in a career in nursing. “Ignore the people who don’t believe in you because you will find your people who believe in you and will help you succeed.”

Roach was hired immediately after graduation and will begin her career as an ICU nurse at HCA Healthcare in the coming weeks.

For more information about how to make your dream of becoming a nurse a reality, visit the Lee College nursing program website at www.lee.edu/nursing.