Madison Arredondo (left) and Jackline Onsarigo were among the TSTC Associate Degree in Nursing graduates honored during a pinning ceremony on Thursday, April 27.

(ABILENE, Texas) – Texas State Technical College honored some of its Associate Degree in Nursing graduates during a pinning ceremony in Abilene on Thursday, April 27.

Each graduate received a nurse’s pin that they will wear in the workforce, and an instructor pinned them on as a celebration of their accomplishment. 

The graduates honored were Madison Arredondo, Lacey Follbaum, Jacquelyn Kvapil, Keely Nickell, Jackline Onsarigo, Gladys K. Rogers, LaTracy Tinner and Susie A. Zapata.

Gabrielle Mallet, TSTC’s associate provost of the Sweetwater campus, congratulated them.

“We are here celebrating your accomplishments and commitment to becoming a nurse,” she said. “You are to be commended for your hard work and dedication.”

Arredondo, who spoke on behalf of the graduates, congratulated her classmates for working together during the past year.

“The journey has not been an easy one,” she said. “It has been a challenging year for us all. We have spent countless hours studying, practicing and preparing to be great nurses.”

Arredondo challenged her classmates to provide the best care to patients.

“Let us never forget the privilege and responsibility we have in caring for those in need, and let us always strive to provide the highest standard of care with compassion, empathy and professionalism,” she said.

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 of completion program is available at the Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.

For more information about TSTC, visit

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