The 2023 nursing graduates pose outside the Health Sciences Center (Photo by Rich Keen, Marketing and Communications Dept.).

Blue Ridge Community College Honors 29 Nursing Students at Nurse Pinning Ceremony

Featured photo: The 2023 nursing graduates pose outside the Health Sciences Center (Photo by Rich Keen, Marketing and Communications Dept.).

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. – On Wednesday, May 10, Blue Ridge Community College’s Nursing graduates gathered on the Henderson County Campus to celebrate their accomplishments at the 35th annual School of Nursing Nurse Pinning Ceremony.

Director of Nursing Dr. Amy Szoka said the ceremony is a time-honored tradition which represents the completion of instruction and induction into the profession. This month, twenty-nine Blue Ridge students were pinned as part of this rite of passage.

Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College, welcomed the graduates with a hopeful message about the importance of the nursing profession.

“You are needed more than ever in our healthcare facilities here in Western North Carolina and across the nation,” she said. “On behalf of our institution, community, and all those you will serve in the years to come, thank you for choosing this as your life’s work.”

At the ceremony, Megan Lewis won the Clinical Excellence Award for the Health Sciences Campus and Alyse Benjamin won the Clinical Excellence Award for the Transylvania County Campus. Torri McCall won the Outstanding Student award, and Blaine Taylor won the award for Highest Grade Point Average.

As part of its commitment to workforce development, Blue Ridge Community College expanded its Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program by 20 seats last year to serve up to 74 nursing students annually. ADN students learn from highly qualified faculty in state-of-the-art simulation labs at the College’s Health Science Center in Hendersonville or Transylvania County Campus in Brevard. More information about the program is available at

The following students received pins at the pinning ceremony:

Rhiannon Barnes

Alyse Benjamin

Regan Birkhead

Kaitlyn Blanken

Katey Brown

Briana Carson

Ashlyn Crowe *

Micah Dwyer *

Annah Eubanks *

Joseph Hall

Caroline Harrelson

Courtney Hoselton

Richard Johnson *

Kasha Jones *

Laura Kelley

Haley Letterle

Megan Lewis *

Torrie McCall

Jessica Morris

Casie Parker

Kristina Richardson

Norma Renteria

Brandi Rhodes

Alyssa Ritchey *

Matthew Ryan

Blane Taylor

Brittany Watkins-Krukowski

Emily Whiteside *

Wendy Whitt

* Indicates enrollment in the WNC Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses Program (RIBN) with dual enrollment in the Western Carolina University School of Nursing.