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BCC Graduates 51 Future Nurses
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:40AM / Wednesday, May 24, 2023
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BCC held a pinning ceremony on Tuesday for the 51 graduates of its associate's degree nursing program.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 400 family members, friends, and college faculty filled the Boland Theatre on Tuesday to honor the newest nursing graduates.
"Our path to success was forged by hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrificing, and most of all, the love for what we do as nurses," graduate Theresa Carusotto told her 50 classmates at Bekshire Community College.
They're not only leaving a little bit smarter, a little more patient, and a lot more caring but also with a giant addiction to caffeine, she joked.
"In fact, I'd like to take this opportunity to make a nursing diagnosis for this cohort, severe fatigue, anxiety, stress, imbalanced nutrition and disturbed sleep pattern related to nursing school, as evidenced by the bags that are still under our eyes," she said.
Nursing is a selfless career because they "have the opportunity and the power to heal the mind, soul in the body," Carusotto said. 
That ethos of selflessness and perseverance was echoed by other speakers at Tuesday's pinning ceremony, marking the end of the 51 future nurses' two-year odyssey at BCC. 
Department Chair of Nursing Nicole Cerda noted all that hard work and time away from friends and familly had culminated in this moment and Dean of Nursing Lori Moon pointed the support and sacrifice from family and friends as well as the efforts of faculty and staff to aid them in attaining their associate's degree. 
As the graduates are welcomed into the nursing profession, Moon sent them off with words of caution — the first year as a nurse will be overwhelming and there may be days where you ask why or if you can do this job. 
"Here's the secret. Everyone feels that way as a new nurse. You're not alone … It's normal, everyone feels that way," Moon said. 
She told them to never lose sight of where they are going and, no matter what, make a difference.
Nixon St. Bernard, a graduate of the program and now a nurse at Berkshire Medical Center, was the keynote speaker.  
Success, he said, is not easy and every successful person has wanted to quit at some point. But if success is the realization of a worthy ideal, he continued, we know what we have to do.
St. Bernard was chosen to speak because of his willingness to work with students and his commitment to ensure that every student paired with him leaves the floor with greater knowledge. 
Nursing is a unique field and so are the nurses, St. Bernard said, because they put everything into a career that is highly gratifying and also requires caring and compassion. 
The graduates are ambassadors for the college, BCC President Ellen Kennedy said and she hoped they will take pride in saying they were educated at Berkshire Community College. 
Carusotto concluded the evening with some words of wisdom to her classmates.
"We have the power to make a critically ill patient laugh. We have the power to teach someone with a debilitating chronic illness, how to cope. We get to share not only the beginning of a life, but the end of a life. We will be able to listen to our patients' past stories of their lives and hobbies, even though they might not have the strength to do them anymore," she said. 
"I'm confident that I'm on stage with nurses that will push boundaries, strive to make a difference and do the best they can to prepare for their patients, even when sometimes there's no thanks at the end."
Professionalism in Nursing: Cassidy Kendall
Clinical Excellence in Nursing: Page Houser
Academic Excellence in Nursing: Melissa Phillips
Bette B. Everson Memorial Nursing Award: Melissa Phillips
Cynthia Abbey
Natasha Antona
Brian Arseneau
Alyssa Bartlett
Millicent Beckham
Carly Beery
Savannah Berkeley
Douglas Bruce
Lachay Canada
Jacqueline Canterella
Theresa Carusotto
Emma Clouthier
Lisa Curley
Malynda Davis
Brittany Durand
Tanisha Goines
Jamie Heaton
Page Houser
Jacy Howland
Susan Jennings
Elisabeth Jones
Cassidy Kendall
Trinity Kickery
Deborah Knight
Nicole Koldys
Hannah Lanigan
Stacy Leeman
Marissa Maher
Caroline Maina
Lillian Makoni
Mackenzie Melski
Olga Meyko
Kristin Mitchell
Calista Moore-Demarest
Caitlin Murphy
Anita Ofori
Tanya Pettibone
Melissa Phillips
Kiana Pierce
Carmen Quinde
Walter Randall
Shelby Reynolds
John Ridge
Angelica Sanchez
Erin Sears
Nicole Sirard
Amy Slattery
Katie Stegner
Vanessa Taylor
Ethan Trautman
Stephanie Velez-Vega 
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