AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT)- The Amarillo College Nursing Program held the 100th pinning ceremony in the school’s history.

The graduating class has more than 100 students. Officials say this class has more graduates than usual.

This class includes 26 graduates from the inaugural Rural Nursing Education Consortium. A collaboration with Amarillo College, Frank Philipps College, and five regional hospital districts.

“We’re very excited because we’ve got to include our RNEC which is our rural Nursing Education Consortium, said Teresa Herrera, Assistant Director for the ADN Nursing Program.” “They’re involved with this graduation. It’s just so exciting to see all the nurses that we have put out in the community.”

According to previous reports from Myhighplains.com, the purpose of the collaboration was to increase “homegrown nurses serving rural panhandle communities.”

Over the past two and half years, nursing graduates have spent countless hours studying, taking tests, completing clinical, and balancing life.

“It’s been a long two and a half years, said Michael Burton, a nursing graduate. “It’s rewarding, you have your ups and downs. But all in all, I’m excited to be a part of the 100th pinning ceremony in my room college.

Perseverance is what helped the graduates get through some of the most challenging times of their academic journey.

“Perseverance, said Nina Navarette, the nursing graduate.” “You gotta keep going. Even if you feel like it’s all falling down on you. If you just keep going. You just have the light inside you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you have that goal. It’ll be rewarding in the end. This is a really bittersweet moment.”

The best advice that Burton and Navarette have for future nursing students is to not give up on their dreams.

The support from staff, instructors, and members of their cohort are what the graduates will miss most.

“We’re all going our separate ways after graduation and just the support, said Navarette.” “We’ve had a lot of support through the staff and the instructors. They’ve really been a blessing. So I’ll really miss the staff friends and that support.

Tomorrow, Dec.16 Amarillo College will have its fall commencement ceremony at the Amarillo Civic Center Complex at 7 p.m.