More nurses to the rescue: Class graduates following residency during pandemic

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Tihane Smith smiles while receiving a lei after Hilo Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program graduation ceremony at Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden in Hilo on Friday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Mayor Mitch Roth gives the keynote address during Hilo Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program graduation ceremony at Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden in Hilo on Friday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Amy McBride receives her certificate from the Hilo Medical Center Nurse Residency Program at Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden in Hilo on Friday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Chambry'e Lagapa smiles after being awarded Nurse Resident of the Year during Hilo Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program graduation ceremony at Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden in Hilo on Friday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Kimberly Wada hugs one of the nurses she taught in Hilo Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program during a graduation ceremony at Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden in Hilo on Friday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Brittany O'Callaghan waves to her friends after graduating from Hilo Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program on Friday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Crystal Soares, center, congratulates Chambry'e Lagapa after Hilo Medical Center's Nurse Residency Program graduation ceremony at Nani Mau Restaurant and Garden in Hilo on Friday.

Despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 new nurses graduated from Hilo Medical Center’s Nurse Residency Program on Friday morning.