Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
Rebecca Shutz grew up in Rhode Island, where she was homeschooled. Though, there really was very little schooling taking place.
“I grew up homeschooled, but they didn’t teach me at all and we weren’t allowed to go to school,” Shutz said. “I just didn’t receive any real education.”
Yet on Thursday, Dec. 9, Shutz received her Nursing Pin, becoming a full-fledged RN, at a Pinning Ceremony at First Pentecostal Church in Pensacola. She was one of 69 Associate of Science in Nursing students who were pinned, as were 20 nurses who have earned a Practical Nursing Career Certificate.
There were also 25 Bachelor of Nursing Students, all whom previously had earned their nursing pins, who attended the ceremony.
All of the students received their degrees or certificates just a few days later at PSC’s 2021 Fall Commencement Ceremony at the Pensacola Bay Center.
“I’ve had a lot of heroes in my life,” said Dr. Troy Tippett, a Pensacola neurosurgeon who is a member of the PSC District Board of Trustees. “Many of those heroes have been nurses.”
He said nurses and others who work in the medical field “have a calling.”
“I do know it’s the most rewarding occupation you could ever have,” Tippett said. “Where else can you go to work every day and save lives? There aren’t many places.”
For Shutz, the pinning ceremony was a long and arduous journey.
“I didn’t have a diploma or GED,” she said. “I had a 7th-grade math level. But I knew I wanted to go to college. It was scary.”
She finally decided to pursue her GED and earned it a few years back while living in her home state of Rhode Island.
Shutz moved to Pensacola about three years ago with her husband, Navy Petty Officer Second Class James Shutz and their daughter, Evelyn, now 4.
When she enrolled at PSC, she had to take remedial and developmental classes before entering the nursing program.
“There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” she said. “But when people say nursing is too hard, I just tell them that if I can do it, anyone can.”
Both her husband and daughter attended the Pinning Ceremony.
“I’m very proud of her,” James Shutz said. “It was hard for her and there were a lot of late nights. She was incredible.”
Her daughter is proud as well.
“She said she’s going to be a doctor someday,” Shutz said. “And then we’ll work together.”
Here are nurses recognized at the 2021 Fall Pinning Ceremony:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing:
Associate in Science in Nursing
Practical Nursing Career Certificate