SCF Nursing Celebrates Fall 2022 Pinning Ceremony

Bradenton, Fla. Dec. 9, 2022

(Bradenton, Fla., Dec. 9, 2022) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) awarded 84 nursing students their nursing pins Dec. 9 at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center. The pinning ceremony included welcome remarks from Dr. Tammy Sawmelle, SCF’s dean of nursing. Anita Smith, director of clinical education at Empath Health, was the community guest speaker. 

Graduates Dustin Pletcher and Kennedy Raymond were selected by their peers as the student speakers. Faculty participants included Tracy Abrahamson, Laura Cochardo, Elizabeth Elliott, and Michele Tomaino. Cochardo, Elliott and Tomaino served as faculty readers to announce each graduate. Abrahamson spoke on the tradition of pinning ceremonies, from its roots in the 12th century crusades to the introduction of the modern tradition by Florence Nightingale in the 19th century.

Dana Swope received the Pat Kuebler Award for exhibiting potential for excellence in planning and implementing patient care, qualities Kuebler exemplified. Pat Kuebler was an assistant administrator in charge of nursing for Sarasota Memorial Hospital before joining SCF, then Manatee Junior College, as an instructor. While teaching for four years, she had a profound effect on her students before passing away from cancer in 1981. In 1985, the nursing department of Manatee Memorial Hospital, made up of many of her former students, established the scholarship in her name for students who display her character, compassion and dedication to nursing.

Dr. Katie Tinley received the Future of Caring Award. The award was created last year to honor an SCF nursing faculty or staff member who has impacted the future of patient care with their exemplary dedication to SCF nursing students.

The nurses that received their pins during the ceremony completed Associate in Science in nursing degrees (ASN) and are now eligible to become certified as a registered nurse (RN). SCF also offers a BSN degree, giving working RNs the opportunity to earn a four-year degree to enhance their knowledge and skills. SCF proudly graduated 62 BSN nurses this semester.

For information about SCF’s nursing program, visit For more information on creating a memorial scholarship, contact Cassandra Holmes at

Nurse Pinning

Newly pinned nurses after the Nurse Pinning ceremony at SCF Bradenton.

Oath Recital

SCF Nursing graduates recite their pledge to complete the Nurse Pinning ceremony.