Local student is recognized with Spring 2024 nursing graduates

Eight Butler Community College nursing graduates take advantage of the college’s partnership with the University of Kansas, earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and Associate Degree in Nursing simultaneously. Pictured are FRONT ROW (L-R) Laura Barker, Morgan Cook, Alexandria Isabel Lleras and Kenzie Marie Schrader; BACK ROW (L-R) Marcus Rhodeman, Edith Rayna Berry, Sydney Shields and Chelsea Taylor.


Sixty-one nursing students, one newborn, and one service dog came together with family and friends to celebrate the Spring 2024 Nurses Pinning Ceremony at the El Dorado Performing Arts Center on Thursday, May 9.

Kenzie Marie Schrader, from Sabetha, KU BSN Graduate, BSNA Secretary, is recognized with the 60-plus nursing graduates.

“We discovered something truly special: the essence of nursing,” said Bethany Middendorf, Class President, after crediting faculty, fellow students and loved ones with unwavering support during their rigorous studies. “Nursing, as we come to understand, is more than just a profession, it’s a calling. It is a commitment to compassion, a dedication to healing and a promise to be there for those in need.”

Mitchell Taylor, nursing faculty and DAISY nominee, introduced the eight students who took advantage of the Butler/KU ADN & BSN Partnership opportunity. With an exciting congratulations, Taylor yelled the battle cry formed by the nursing department a few years ago, “rock chalk Jayhawk, you Butler Grizzlies!”

This partnership allows Butler students to simultaneously earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from The University of Kansas (KU) and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Butler, all while staying on Butler’s El Dorado campus. Students in the pathway experience hands-on training from Butler and take online courses through the KU Nursing Program.

“I hope that you wear your pin with pride and be reminded of the commitment you have made to serve others, even in the most difficult times,” said Janet Schueller, Associate Dean of Health, Education and Public Services. “It is truly both a medal of honor and a badge of courage. We sincerely welcome each of you as colleagues into our beautiful and wonderful profession. We wish you the best of luck. Congratulations. You have big shoes to fill, as your former class has set the bar very high, but I know that you guys can do it and I hope that you know, too.”

Schueller encouraged the students to always ask questions, make time for themselves and give themselves grace. She prompted the graduates to remember their “why” for becoming nurses and connected the Grizzly bear on the nursing pin to both their status as graduate candidates and the protectors they will become for their patients.

“I’ve often said that our nursing program is the most premier nursing program in the state of Kansas,” said Julio Guerrero, Dean of Health, Education and Public Services. “Well graduates, let me know if you agree with me, but I believe our nursing faculty is the most premier nursing faculty in the state of Kansas, as well.”

Guerrero’s prompt was met with clapping as the students and their families applauded the dedication and wisdom shown by the nursing faculty.

Class Vice President Morgan Hickman led the nursing graduating class in standing to recite the International Council of Nurses’ Pledge.

Current student Laynee Cao of Wichita and nursing faculty Katelyn Sherman-Voge received the DAISY Award. The DAISY Award is an international program and is given to recognize students and faculty who demonstrate excellence in nursing. The award was created by Bonnie and Mark Barnes who lost their son, Patrick, to a rare autoimmune disorder commonly known as ITP. Because of the care their son received, the Barnes family decided to honor nurses who go above and beyond in the field. The award includes a daisy pin, a certificate and a hand-carved statue from Zimbabwe, called The Healer’s Touch. The award is presented to one nursing student and one faculty member each semester.

This semester, Butler’s first-time test takers in the first quarter of The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) scored a 100 percent pass rate. This pass rate includes both Registered Nurses (RN) and Practical Nurses (PN) and is higher than last year’s national average.

“You have an entire career to pick up extra shifts, so take care of yourself,” Schueller advised her students. “Find your balance, listen to your body. Take care of yourself, just as you do for your patients. Get plenty of rest, both physically and mentally, and take time to laugh. Every day, every shift, every opportunity — laughter, it will make the long shift the shortest. We’ve given you a really solid foundation and I know that you will grow from that.”

The ceremony is available online on https://www.butlercc.edu/BCTVplus or with the BCTV+ app.

See the full list of nursing graduates at https://mcusercontent.com/0dee590098f1fe3bb01b3b5c4/files/5aa0d2fd-7853-4f23-1b8b-e86b31e3f894/Nurses_Pinning_Spring_2024_1_.pdf.


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