SJR State holds nursing pinning ceremony

Nursing Awards

St. Johns River State College recently held a pinning ceremony to recognize the Associate in Science in Nursing students. The pinning ceremony symbolizes the “rite of passage into the nursing profession,” said Anna Lebesch, Ed.D., SJR State’s vice president for workforce development and Orange Park campus executive director.  The pin is a reminder to the 35 graduates of their purpose to serve the sick and infirmed.

Students were pinned by family members.  Lebesch described the pinning ceremony as the symbol of the care and devotion nurses provide. The ceremony is also a continued tradition of Florence Nightingale’s extended honor to her most outstanding nurses.

Billie Blake, RN, MSN, BSN, Ed.D., CNE, SJR State’s retiring Associate Dean of Nursing and Director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, addressed the graduates as the guest speaker.   Blake joined the SJR State nursing faculty in 2003 and has served as the associate dean of nursing for the past seven years.   

During the ceremony, Clay County resident Carly Johnston received the Academic Excellence Award, and Gregory Francois, of St. Johns County, received the Florence Nightingale Award for special achievement throughout the two-year program.     

Students from Clay County:  Courtney Ababa, Chrispian Boyd, Marisa Cartafalsa, Lisa Cogan, Paige DeFazio, Angela Duckworth, Jacqueline Faulkner, Ashley Gloyd, Dana Greer, Michael Hartin, Regina Johnson, Carly Johnston, Jason Martin, Kimberly Mollak, Meghann Padgett, Brooke Phillips, Candice Robinson, Celissa Rogers, Maryanne Roguski and Catherine Stewart

Students from St. Johns County:  Alexander Bellicini, Teresa Borzilleri, Rachel Clifton, Gregory Francois, Brandee Heflin, Amanie Kahok, Julie Natto, Amber Parson, Lauren Quinn, Kaitlin Rafay and Tatiana Vasquez 

Student from Putnam County:  Shelene Back

Students from other counties:  Sheila Craig, Derek Tanner and Bobbie Wingate
SJR State’s nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.  Classes are offered in Palatka and Orange Park.  Applications for the Spring 2017 nursing classes on the Orange Park campus will be accepted September 1 - 30.  Specific prerequisites and requirements apply and must be completed prior to the first day of the application period. 

SJR State offers additional health programs such as respiratory care, nursing assistant, health information management and radiologic technology. For more information on degree and certificate programs in the health field, call (386) 312-4176.


nursing group photo

In addition to the ceremony, select students received awards for special achievement throughout the two-year program.   From left:  Clay County resident Carly Johnston received the Academic Excellence Award, and St. Johns County resident Gregory Francois was honored with the Florence Nightingale Award. 

Nursing students enrolled in the Orange Park program:

Front Row, L-R:  Dana Greer, Courtney Ababa, Candice Robinson, Jacqueline Faulkner, Brandee Heflin, Julie Natto, Chrispian Boyd, Bobbie Wingate and Catherine Stewart

Second Row, L-R:  Alexander Bellicini, Derek Tanner, Carly Johnston, Amber Parson, Brooke Phillips, Lisa Cogan, Kimberly Mollak and Michael Hartin

Third Row, L-R:   Paige DeFazio, Ashley Gloyd, Lauren Quinn, Meghann Padgett, Kaitlin Rafay and Rachel Clifton  

Fourth Row, L-R:   Teresa Borzilleri, Shelene Back, Angela Duckworth, Sheila Craig, Amanie Kahok and Regina Johnson

Back Row, L-R:  Celissa Rogers, Maryanne Roguski, Jason Martin, Gregory Francois, Marisa Cartafalsa and Tatiana Vasquez



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020