More than 50 women and men graduated Saturday from the nursing program at Mission College in Santa Clara.
For Sarah Estandarte of San Jose, receiving a special pin from her mom and boyfriend offers closure to a long journey to become an registered nurse.
A path interrupted by a pandemic that forced her to put some in-person training on hold.
“We were toward the finish line but we were displaced from doing our clinicals and we had to wait several more months to go back to the hospital to finish clinicals,” Estandarte said.
But Estandarte and dozens of other classmates persevered even knowing they were headed to the front lines in the battle against COVID-19.
Army veteran and mother of two, Sharon Jackson completed her program while working at a hospital.
I’ve never thought of quitting to do something else. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. I was a medic in the army. it’s really all coming down to how you adapt,” she said.
Estandarte had to adapt to waiting a year to enjoy her graduation ceremony.
Mission college invited both the class of 2020 and 2021 to be recognized in front of some beaming parents Saturday.
During the pinning ceremony, families shared the symbol of accomplishment.
Then graduates holding unlit candles pledged to elevate their profession and devote themselves to patient care.
For many, nursing is not just a job but a calling.
COVID-19 just reaffirmed their dedication.
I don’t see myself doing anything else. this is a privilege to be a nurse to see people in the beginning, middle and end of their lives and change lives one patient at a time,” said Estandarte.