SJR State holds respiratory care pinning ceremony

group photo of St. Johns River State College students from Respiratory Care program

St. Johns River State College recently held a pinning ceremony honoring respiratory care students. The students were presented with a special pin during the ceremony before faculty, family and friends, recognizing their accomplishments and hard work in completing the program and becoming eligible to pursue a career in respiratory care.

The 2022 graduating class has landed in a very exciting time, as the field has celebrated its 75th birthday this year.

SJR State faculty and administration also recognized the clinical sites and technologists from area hospitals who have helped the students gain hands-on experience. The guest speaker was former program director Michael Hackney, B.S., RRT-RPFT, who shared some of the students’ challenges and triumphs.

“This group of students has come such a long way from their first day in January 2021. They have learned to exhibit the kind of traits we as educators are hoping for, such as: compassion, professionalism, assuming responsibility for their actions, coming together as a group to work toward common goals, and a deep desire for learning how to best care for their patients,” Hackney said.

“This group performed countless patient assessments, assisted physicians with bedside procedures, worked in all aspects of critical care, the emergency room, and floor care while learning to become valuable members of the healthcare team,” Hackney continued. “Many witnessed the miracle of birth as well as provided compassionate care to patients at their end of life.”

Students completing the program are Courtney Danielle Bembry, Nicolette Marie Carter, Hunter Garrison Keene, Amanda Beth Mainville, Myiah Rose Valenza Russack-Cradeurm, and Abby Elizabeth Symonds.

The Associate in Science degree program prepares students for careers as respiratory care professionals. Upon successful completion of the 20 month curriculum, students are eligible to apply to take the national certification exams for Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), both administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care.

SJR State’s Respiratory Care program is offered on the St. Augustine campus. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Applications for Spring 2023 enrollment are now being accepted through October 15. 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 radiologic technology, nursing assistant, health information technology and nursing. For more information on degree and certificate programs in the health field, visit the website at

St. Johns River State College students completing the two-year degree program in Respiratory Care are, from left: Nicolette Carter, Abby Symonds, Hunter Keene, Amanda Mainville, Courtney Bembry, and Myiah Russack-Cradeur.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4021