Sick nursing student gets pinning ceremony in hospital bed

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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GRANGER, Ind. (WNDU) - Kasey Wernlund is in nursing school, and she’s just grateful to be alive.

“I started feeling sick, thought maybe it was the flu or something,” Kasey said.

It wasn’t the flu. In fact, Kasey was admitted to Beacon Granger Hospital in April, where doctors later discovered she had sepsis — the body’s life-threatening response to an infection.

Sadly, she missed a very important day in her life while she was recovering.

“I missed my pinning for nursing school, and I was really bummed because I worked so to get to that point,” Kasey recalled.

Enter Kendall Klaer and Payton Fell — Kasey’s full-time nurses and part-time guardian angels.

“Payton had said, ‘Oh, we have a patient, and she’s missing her pinning,’” Kendall remembered. “And I said, ‘Her nursing pinning?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Well, that’s not okay.’ Cause we knew how important pinning was to us.”

The tandem took it upon themselves to turn an inauspicious moment into an unforgettable one, providing their patient with her own pinning ceremony.

“The heading of the certificate actually said, ‘Certified Patient of BGH Room 104,” Kendall joked.

(Kasey Wernlund)

“I actually ordered the pin right after she became my patient, and I was like, ‘If we get to use it, cool. If we don’t, I’ll just have a second pin, I guess,’” Payton said.

“It just meant the world to me, and they deserve all the recognition,” Kasey said.

Which is why Kasey invited 16 News Now to Beacon Hospital to capture her simple thank you – the first time they’d been in the same room since BGH Room 104.

“It was an honor to be pinned by both of you, and you guys both deserve so much recognition,” Kasey told Kendall and Payton during their reunion. “You guys are amazing nurses, and you guys are a huge inspiration to me. So, thank you.”

It has been said nursing is the heart of healthcare. If true, then this story proves that institution’s heart isn’t skipping a beat.

Kasey is wrapping up her last semester and has already passed her finals. And get this — when it’s all said and done, all three of these nurses will end up being graduates of the same nursing program at Ivy Tech.

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