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Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks to hold first nursing pinning ceremony July 29

(OSAGE BEACH, Mo.)-Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks will hold its first nursing program pinning ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 29 at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 885 College Blvd., Osage Beach, next to Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks.

Dr. Gerald Brouder, Columbia College president, will address the nursing students. Carol Walter, Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks nursing coordinator, will award the pins.

The tradition of the nursing pinning ceremony began in the 1860s. The pin symbolizes the completion of the nursing program and the students' transition into the field of nursing.

"Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks is very proud of the students in its first nursing class," said Walter. "They all show strength, courage and enthusiasm and will be assets to the nursing profession."

The 14 nursing students in the first class received their Associate in Science in Nursing degrees at the Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks commencement ceremony in May. Eleven have accepted positions with Lake Regional Health System, Walter said, and others will work in the Jefferson City and Moberly areas.

The first nursing class includes the following students: Nichole Choate, Climax Springs, Mo.; Monica Dixon and Sherri Stoner, Camdenton, Mo.; Angela Frisbie, Eldon, Mo.; Beth Givens and Lindsay Steen, Lake Ozark, Mo.; Lori Hinrichs, Mack's Creek, Mo.; Lacy Klouzek, Linn, Mo; Nicole Kusgen, Osage Beach; Tasiana Malya and Gillian Rono, Jefferson City, Mo.; Stacey Menke, Gravois Mills, Mo.; Angela Owings, Stoutland, Mo.; and Shaun Tilly, Linn Creek, Mo.

Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks nursing students have a wide variety of backgrounds, such as Malya, who is from Tanzania and came to the U.S. in 2001. She plans to return to Tanzania in December 2006 to work with medical professionals from the U.S. and England who travel to Tanzania to offer medical services. She will travel to villages with no full-time medical providers to serve as a nurse and translator.

Before beginning nursing school, Stoner worked for 10 years as a petroleum geologist. She then left the environmental field to stay at home with her two children, ages 8 and 5. Stoner said once she entered the nursing program, "It was challenging managing a family and home, but it was fun, and I've enjoyed it." Stoner plans to seek employment locally as a nurse.

Columbia College began serving the higher education needs of residents in the Lake area in 1990, and today continues to serve civilian and military adult learners in the area. The Associate in Science in Nursing degree program began in 2005 and is designed for students with no previous nursing education or experience, as well as for licensed practical nurses seeking to become registered nurses.

Columbia College serves 25,000 students each year at its Day Campus, Evening Campus, Online Campus, Graduate Studies Program and more than 30 Nationwide Campuses.