(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College honored 14 Associate Degree in Nursing graduates during a pinning ceremony in Abilene on Thursday, Dec. 15. 

Each student received a nurse’s pin that they will wear in the workforce, and a family member pinned it on them as a celebration of their accomplishment.

Josiah Foncham became emotional when addressing his classmates during the ceremony.

“We take this opportunity to thank those who have supported us throughout this journey,” he said. “Our families have seen us through our highs and lows, and we thank them for their patience and understanding.”

Foncham took a moment to thank his mother, Dorothy Foncham.

“I offer my sincere thanks for your unconditional love and support, especially during this strenuous endeavor,” he said. “Your unwavering dedication to me has proven the timeless sentiment that a parent’s love for their child is eternal. I dedicate this success to you wholeheartedly.”

Foncham said it was the help of his fellow students that led to the class’ success.

“Our classmates have been our rock. Without their support, we could not have made it,” he said. “We faced struggles, shared laughter, and overcame obstacles during our clinical trials and test days. My peers and I have proven that we can withstand even the most demanding tasks.”

Foncham also recognized TSTC’s faculty for their support during class and in life. He remembered that each time a meeting began, instructor Lisa van Cleave would offer a prayer.

“I will always embrace her heartfelt prayer and carry it with me wherever I go,” he said.

 Van Cleave opened the ceremony by thanking the family members for their support.

“Everyone take a breath. You finally made it,” she said. “This is always the great end to a lot of work and a lot of stress. This has been an incredible and exciting journey for you.”

Other students honored during the ceremony were Maritza Alaniz, Carmen Arguijo, Melissa Bautista, Rachel Bradshaw, April Clark, Judith Hoyle, Larissa Melchert, Heighlye Mize, Kendra Presley, Renee Price, Kayleen See, Karli Teague and Lea Thompson.

At the end of the ceremony, the graduates recited the Nightingale pledge. The pledge is named in honor of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, and is similar to the Hippocratic Oath in its focus on ethical patient care.

Each graduate now is able to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a registered nurse and can work in hospitals, day-surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices and home health care agencies, among other areas.

According to, registered nursing jobs were forecast to increase 17% in Texas between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary for registered nurses in Texas is $77,320, the website showed.

TSTC also offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at the Harlingen campus. TSTC’s Vocational Nursing certificate program is available at the Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.

 For more information about TSTC, visit

adn groupo scaled e1671199991962 300x170 - Families, TSTC honor Associate Degree in Nursing graduates at pinning ceremony
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