Indy ITT nursing graduates celebrate a bittersweet ending

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- For nurses, their “pinning ceremony” is a rite of passage.

Once ITT Technical Institutes shut down, that experience seemed like it was no longer in the cards for the school’s most recent nursing grads.

Thanks to one determined and resourceful September graduate of the ITT Breckenridge School of Nursing, they were still able to participate in one of nursing’s most treasured traditions during an event on Saturday.

“My fellow nurses, this is our day to be proud, our day to be proud of ourselves, for all of our amazing achievements,” said chosen student speaker Rachel Buckley.

Buckley stood at the podium before their pinning ceremony and said words that weeks ago, she and her classmates weren’t sure they’d ever hear.

“I am pleased to present you the September 2016 graduates of I-T-T Technical Institute School of Breckenridge of Nursing,” Buckley proudly proclaimed from the podium.

Buckley’s classmate Pam Simmons watched on.

Simmons took the reins, arranging for the event to be held at her church.

“Nursing school is very hard and to be able to make this accomplishment, it’s something that needs to be celebrated,” said Simmons. “For that to be taken away from us, I felt like it was important enough for myself and my classmates to be able to have the celebration that we deserve.”

The teachers agreed to show up at First Free Will Baptist Church, the day before their originally scheduled ceremony.

“It’s a very wonderful experience to have that pin, pinned on you that says you’ve completed your studies you can now go out and practice,” says former faculty member Susan McKain.

For other ITT Tech students who graduated, but don’t get a ceremony like this, they will still get a diploma.

A spokesperson for the company has said the diplomas are being mailed out to those lucky enough to finish their education before the school closed for good.

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