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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Santa Maria’s First Vocational Nursing Pinning Ceremony Bodes Well for the Nursing Industry

October 11, 2022

The Vocational Nursing (VN) program of Santa Maria, which enrolled students for the first time in March of 2021, celebrated its very first graduating VN Pinning Ceremony on June 24, 2022. It was an opportunity not only to honor the beautiful and historic traditions of the nursing profession as handed down by Florence Nightingale, but to celebrate that in just over a year the Santa Maria VN program grew its enrollment for the next cohort of nursing students.


An article in the Santa Maria Sun that was published at the opening of Santa Maria’s program quoted Nick Gomez, President of SJVC, who said “The Vocational Nursing program that we offer…is geared specifically for that individual, upon completion of the program, to find employment.” This brand new program is helping to meet the increasing need for nurses brought on by the devastating challenges of the COVID pandemic.


Acosta, a former registered nurse in the field for six years, began her teaching career at SJVC in August 2020. This graduating class was her first cohort. She said “It felt like it was one big family with all their families there. Looking at their faces and seeing how they’re from all different kinds of life experiences, you see how it all intersects, and you see the hope that transcends everything.”


Each Santa Maria VN program graduate lit their candle and said the Nightingale pledge, carrying on Florence Nightingale’s tradition that Acosta believes “in her wildest dreams she [Nightingale] didn’t know that little flame she started would become this fire that revolutionized medicine.”  SJVC’s Vocational Nursing program in Santa Maria and all of its other campuses will continue to feed the flame to increase that supply of nurses.

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