Jones College’s A.D. Nurse grads ready to “transform” the world

ELLISVILLE – For almost 60 years, Jones College’s Associate Degree Nursing program has been sending its graduates into the healthcare field. On December 7, during the Graduation and Pinning Ceremony at Jones College, administrators, family, and friends, congratulated 24 new graduates who will join the thousands of nurses before them and transform their communities as new nurses.

Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith

“Thank you for investing in these students because there is not a single thing that we do that’s more important,” Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith declared to friends and family at the A.D. Nursing program’s Graduation and Pinning ceremony recently. “A nurse doesn’t just get a great job and work in healthcare. One nurse in the community transforms the lives of our families and our communities. The trajectory of a nurse not only enhances that family’s income, but also the health of everyone they see, their children, and their parents. You can see the impact grows. From my perspective as a college president, we see those investments and they add value for the greater good. It reminds me of the book of Matthew in the Bible. ‘You are the salt of the earth….’ A nurse graduates, works in their field and literally transforms the health of an entire family.”

Katelyn with her mother, Michelle Green

Stringer’s Katelyn Green is one of the nurses who answered the call. After considering being an athletic trainer, she was inspired to make a difference as a nurse after her father’s passing.

“God really touched me and showed me this career actually needs me. I truly want to try to help everyone and anyone I can who has gone through something similar to me. Even if I can help just one person, that will make everything so worth it,” said Green, who plans to work in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

Now that Laurel’s Sarah Boone has her associate degree in nursing, she aspires to work in the hospital emergency department. Initially, she was inspired by her sister and 2021 JC Practical Nursing graduate, Hannah Boone Swindall.

Hannah Boone Swindall & Sarah Boone

“It was kind of scary watching her go through this program because it looked very stressful, but it was worth it,” shared the younger Boone. “It’s very rewarding to have your patients thank you at the end of the day, even when you feel like you haven’t done your best. That’s the most rewarding part, I think.”

Continuing his education and working in the ICU is on the horizon for the A.D.N. Class President, Shakeeb Anderson. The Quitman resident wants to work in the ICU while continuing his medical training in hopes of becoming a doctor. While addressing his classmates during the Graduation and Pinning Ceremony, he challenged them to always remember the essence of their profession regardless of their future endeavors.

Shakeeb Anderson

“See beyond the illness or injury of your patients and embrace the humanity of every individual who crosses your path. Each patient has a unique story, fear, hope, and dream. It is our ability to listen attentively to our souls and to provide care that goes beyond the physical, encompassing the emotional and spiritual aspects of healing. Be advocates for your patients, ensuring their voices are heard, their rights are respected, and their needs are met,” shared Anderson. “Our degrees are not an ending as much as a new beginning. As Colin Powell said, ‘A dream doesn’t become reality through magic. It takes determination and hard work.’ Our dreams are now becoming real.”

Mike Cummings

Acknowledging the grit of the 24 new nurses, A.D. N. program director, Mike Cummings also praised this class for overcoming numerous obstacles during the pandemic.

“They had to wear masks at different times, and all the things that it took to get through this program, yet they showed up for work and it’s impressive. They persisted and they remained flexible as the world changed in front of them. Job well done!” Cummings told the graduating class.

Ultimately, both the graduates and college administrators also praised the support of friends and family. The help and assistance provided to these nurses while in school for five semesters, allowed them to reach their goals and dreams of earning an Associate Degree in Nursing while working through unprecedented challenges.

Jones College Associate Degree Nursing Graduates December 2023

Shakeeb Anderson-Shubuta

Sarah Boone-Laurel

Jana Bounds-Hattiesburg

Sydney Brady-Madison

Amber Butler-Waynesboro

Isabella Cherry-Waynesboro

Nadalyn Cluff-Moselle

Shakema Cobb-Paulding

Bailee Dental-Tampa, FL

Kravian Gillum-Heidelberg

Katelyn Green-Stringer

Nia Henderson-Waynesboro

Stacey Higgins-Hattiesburg

Robert Little-Laurel

Nancy Long-Lucedale

Nikki Magee-Forest

Gracie McCullough-Stringer

Kourtney McDonald-Sand Hill

Mary Kimble Pearson-Indianola

Alexys Price-State Line

Stephen Schmidt-Mobile

Austin Stringer-Laurel

Shelby Thibodeaux-Perkinston

Marci Walley-Leakesville