Graduating Students Create New Nursing Pin

Pin debuts at December 2016 Nursing Pinning Ceremony

The Nursing program at Inver Hills Community College has a new nursing pin thanks to the work of Sheila Mummert, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) instructor at the college, and two 2016 graduates of the program, Melissa Sutton and Natalia Plagge. Sheila took the lead on the project and Melissa created the original, hand-drawn design of the pin. That design was shared on the Nursing Facebook page and Melissa’s classmates gave it the thumbs-up.

Nursing pin drawing
Nursing pin original design drawing
Natalia brought Melissa’s drawing into Adobe Photoshop and developed the final design, which was approved via Facebook. Sheila then sent the finished design to the company that manufactured the actual pin. Sheila handled all the research and negotiations on that end of the project.
The new nursing pin debuted during the December 2016 Nursing Pinning Ceremony and will be used by future graduating classes.
Nursing pin design
Nursing pin e-design
Susan Frosch-Erickson, director of nursing at Inver Hills, noted that the nursing pinning ceremony represents a tradition dating back to the Crusades in the 12th century with links to Florence Nightingale and her selfless work during the Crimean War in the 1850s.
“The pinning ceremony welcomes students to the nursing profession,” Sue said. “The celebration recognizes the years of hard work each student completes to become a registered nurse. The beautiful pin designed by our students honors that dedication as well as the history of the Nursing program at Inver Hills. This ceremony, attended by family and friends, holds heartfelt significance for our students and faculty.”

Inver Hills Nursing Class of 2016

More about Melissa Sutton…

Melissa Sutton
Melissa Sutton
Melissa Sutton, 38, is originally from Wirt, Minnesota, a community of 40 some residents up north in Itasca County. Melissa graduated from high school in 1997 in Deer River, a larger town about 40 miles south of Wirt. After high school, she attended Dakota County Technical College and earned an A.A.S. degree in Interior Design. She went on to earn her B.S. in Biology from Augsburg College.
A 2016 graduate of the Nursing program at Inver Hills, Melissa currently works at United Hospital in St. Paul as a nursing assistant; she earned her N.A. certificate at Inver. She plans to take the Minnesota Board of Nursing exam to become a registered nurse (RN) early in 2017. She has already been offered a job as an RN at United. Her long-range career goals are centered on becoming a nurse practitioner.
Melissa resides in St. Paul with her husband, William, and their 2-year-old son, Quinn. William is making plans to earn a college degree in a business-related field. When she’s not working and spending time with her family, Melissa enjoys drawing, knitting, crocheting and reading mystery novels. She has a black belt in taekwondo from National Karate.

“I designed the pin, Natalia Plagge worked magic with a computer program to make it look amazing, and Sheila Mummert found a pin designer and got everything in motion. Sheila even talked with 2700 and 2800 to see their willingness to continue with the pin design when they graduated and they agreed.
“It was our hope to bring back the tradition of the pinning and to have a pin that represented Inver’s nursing students. It felt amazing to bring something to life that represented the student body and signified the hard work and dedication we put into our nursing education.” — Melissa Sutton, Inver Hills Nursing Program, Class of 2016

Q & A

Why did you choose Inver Hills?
I love the campus and small class sizes. All the instructors are amazing.
Why did you choose your career field?
At first I tried to get into physician assistant school. I finally realized that as a nurse I would be able to have a more integral part in patient care. I have always wanted to help people.
What has been your toughest challenge in life?
Nursing school is very challenging, especially when you’re raising a toddler and working.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Completing the Nursing program at Inver Hills and being a mom.
Three words that describe you as a person: CONSCIENTIOUS. COMPASSIONATE. COURAGEOUS.
What person has influenced you most in life?
My grandmother, Mae, inspired me when I decided to attend nursing school. She was a very caring and compassionate person. She loved caring for the elderly.
What was your role in creating the new nursing pin?
I drew the original pin design.
What were your goals in creating the pin?
Having a pin that represented the class and could be used by future graduates.

What do you like best about the new pin?
I love the whole thing. It’s awesome!

Nursing at Inver Hills

In collaboration with community colleges and universities in the Minnesota State system, Inver Hills helped develop the innovative Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) curriculum. As a transformative approach to nursing education, MANE encourages a deep understanding of key nursing concepts while addressing the changing health care environment.

New Nursing Pin
New Nursing Pin

A.S. in Nursing

The Associate of Science (A.S.) in Nursing prepares you for a career in professional nursing. Admission to the Nursing program is limited and competitive; a separate application is required. Many students enroll at Inver Hills and complete prerequisite courses before applying to the Nursing program. Advanced standing is offered to qualified licensed practical nurses (LPNs) interested in the MANE nursing program.

More about Natalia Plagge…

Natalia Plagge
Natalia Plagge
Natalia Plagge, 36, is originally from Vladivostok, Russia, a city of nearly 610,000 residents in far western Russia near the country’s borders with China and North Korea. Natalia graduated from high school in Vladivostock in 1997. She earned her Nursing Assistant certificate at Inver Hills in 2013 and works as an NA at Northfield Hospital in Northfield, Minnesota.
While attending Inver Hills, Natalia was active in Phi Theta Kappa. She earned her A.S. in Nursing in December 2016. She is studying to take her Minnesota Board of Nursing exam to become a registered nurse (RN). She plans to enroll at Minnesota State University Mankato to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and then her Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.). Her career goals are centered on working in critical care.
Natalia resides in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, with her husband, Phil, and their German shepherd, Berta. Her mother and sister live in Russia. In her spare time, Natalia enjoys sawing leather, gardening, dog training (obedience and therapy) and working out.

“Nursing students graduating in December didn’t have a graduation party, or the pinning ceremony, or the pin itself. It was quite upsetting because we all worked very hard to get into this program—and even harder to get through nursing school. We decided to have our own party and create our own pin.” — Natalia Plagge, Inver Hills Nursing Program, Class of 2016

Q & A

Why did you choose Inver Hills?
My mother-in-law suggested Inver Hills as a highly rated school—specifically for nursing education in Minnesota among community colleges.
Why did you choose your career field?
During my first year of residency in the United States, I was looking for a job that did not require any certification or degree. On the other hand, I felt pretty ambitious and I wanted to do a job that would be meaningful and rewarding for me and people around me. So I did not really see myself working at the department store or fast-food restaurant. So my first job in U.S. was to take care of a paraplegic elderly patient. And it just suddenly “clicked.” I began to realize that providing care for those in need is the job I would do for the rest of my life. So we started to look at different nursing schools.
What has been your toughest challenge in life?
Honestly, I thought that preparation for the nursing school was tough, but getting through the Nursing program at Inver Hills was the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. It is unlike anything any student in our class knew before; it’s unlike any other courses; it’s a different way of studying and thinking.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Completing the Nursing program at Inver Hills.
Three words that describe you as a person: DETERMINED. AMBITIOUS. DIVERSE.
What was your role in creating the new nursing pin?
Melissa posted her draft on our Facebook page and I basically just took her sketch and made it look like an electronic version of pin.
What were your goals in creating the pin?
I love Inver Hills. I spent almost five years here and the Nursing school is not easy. I think we deserved to have this symbolic representation of our accomplishment.
What do you like best about the new pin?
“Caring, Compassion, Commitment” are the reason I took the path of pursuing a nursing career. The words reflect what we have learned and what we became: nurses, America’s most trustworthy professionals.

To learn more about the Nursing program at Inver Hills, contact:

Sue Frosch
Director of Nursing
Office: Liberal Arts 230

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