Press Release
Posted May 16, 2019

Soon-to-be nursing graduate Larry Castaneda received the Florence Nightingale Student Nurse Award for Nursing Excellence at the May 16 pinning ceremony recognizing new nursing graduates at Lorain County Community College.

Larry Castaneda
Larry Castaneda

Castaneda,46, an Amherst resident, was nominated by LCCC nursing faculty member Renee Bell, who worked with him in clinical and lab settings. “Larry has a special gift of connecting with people,” Bell said. “It is refreshing to see him interact with patients and their families demonstrating true concern and compassion. It’s a personal quality that comes naturally. He offers words of encouragement and actively advocates for those in his care.”

“I’m humbled, honored and shocked,” Castaneda said. “I’m really grateful to LCCC for everything and all that I’ve learned.”  He had an additional message for anyone thinking of getting into nursing: “Do it. It’s extremely rewarding,” he said.

LCCC nursing faculty voted on the winner for this award that is given to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the clinical area caring for patients and as an emerging professional. The nursing excellence award was created for the recognition of students who give back and exemplify the characteristics of Florence Nightingale. She focused her efforts on providing excellent care and developing professional training standards to improve the patient’s outcome and health care experience. Nightingale fundamentally changed the role of nursing in hospitals and was a key figure in giving nursing a highly favorable reputation.

“Not only does he provide quality care for his patients, but he cares for his fellow students,” Bell said.  “He will help you make a connection or think about something in a creative way. His positive attitude and sense of humor has offered many a temporary reprieve from their daily struggles.”

Bell said that Castaneda’s level of professionalism, dedication to best practice and level compassion for those entrusted in his care sets him apart and makes him a true asset to the profession of nursing as he graduates with his associate degree.

Nursing pinning ceremonies are a long-standing tradition at nursing schools. The tradition became standard practice in U.S. nursing schools by 1916.  The ceremony signifies the official acceptance into the sisterhood and brotherhood of nursing. Students will graduate Saturday, May 18 at LCCC.

Lorain County Community College is located at 1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria, Ohio.