Special connection: nurse cares for baby who would one day become her student  

Once upon a time, a baby was born at the hospital in Pittsburg, and someone snapped a photo of a nurse caring for her in the nursery. The baby would grow up to become a student in the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing. Her teacher and advisor? The nurse who once cared for her. 

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The student, Kacey Pitts, will graduate with her BSN on May 12. The nurse, Professor Barbara McClaskey, is a longtime faculty member in the School of Nursing and had nursing students with her on rotation that day in April 2002.  

“I remember that day like it was yesterday,” said the baby’s mother, Kim Pitts (BSEd ‘98, MS ‘08). “The students looked so distinguished in their bright red scrubs. I was impressed, both as a new mom and as a teacher myself. Barb was so patient with me, Kacey, and her students.” 

“When Barb mentioned that I was the only new mom, and that there hadn’t been a lot of new moms on the floor, I told her that her students were welcome to do whatever they needed to do for practice. I felt like I got extra special treatment over that 24 hours I was there.” 

Barb gave Kacey a bottle and rocked her, never dreaming she’d one day become Kacey’s teacher and advisor. 


The Pitts family has a special connection to Pitt State: Kacey will be the third of three sisters to graduate from the School of Nursing. One of her sisters — either Haley or Katy — took that photo through the window with a disposable camera Kim had given them in a care package to welcome their new baby sister. 

Kacey said she’s very glad to have chosen nursing as her profession, and to have chosen Pitt State for her education. And, she’s glad McClaskey has been with her every step of the way. 

“From the start of college, she’s advised me what classes to take and how to better prep for my career throughout nursing school,” Kacey said. “She’s been wonderful.” 

Kacey will be one of 140 nursing graduates who will participate in the nursing pinning ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on May 12 at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, including 85 Pre-Licensure, 28 RN to BSN, seven MSN Education, 11 BSN to DNP, three MSN to DNP, and six NP Residents. 

“I would say it is pretty unusual to have a faculty member present on the day of birth of one of her future students,” said Director of Nursing Cheryl Giefer, "and to be there on her graduation day.” 


 Kim Pitts (mother), Kacey Pitts (nursing student), and Barbara McClaskey (nursing professor)


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