The University of Saint Joseph department of Nursing, clinical faculty, administration, family, and friends honored 23 graduates of the Accelerated Second Degree in Nursing (ASD) Program on August 12, 2016 in a pinning ceremony at the Bruyette Athenaeum’s Hoffman Auditorium. Students in this cohort began the nursing program last May and completed 53 credits of a rigorous nursing curriculum in 15 months. This graduating class comprised the largest accelerated nursing class in the history of the University. The pinning ceremony is often referred to as a ‘nursing graduation’ and is a very special and time-honored tradition that occurs at the completion of a nursing program. The ceremony recognizes and welcomes new nursing graduates into the nursing profession as they transition from their academic program and prepare to enter a professional practice role. Each graduate was pinned by a registered nurse that was either a faculty member, family, friend or mentor.
There were several awards presented at the ceremony. Stephanie Strano and Aaron Hayes both received a scholastic achievement award for maintaining the highest GPA throughout the program. Kathryn Gavagni and Aaron Hayes both received the Nightingale Award in honor of Dr. Charlotte Coe, a former faculty member and Chairperson of the department of Nursing. The Nightingale Award recognizes a student for demonstrating clinical excellence and university, community, and professional activity. Joan Gallagher and Stephanie Strano received the Professional Practice award for their excellent clinical practice and caring behaviors while integrating the theoretical underpinnings of the University of Saint Joseph model for holistic patient and family-centered practice. Robert Miselis received the Peer Leadership award for demonstrating support and collaboration with peers and faculty to further the interests of the nursing program and respecting all individuals and maintaining a commitment to own personal and professional growth and integrity.
The students invited guest speaker, Ms. Karri Davis, MSN, RN to speak at their ceremony. Ms. Davis is a nursing educator at Yale New Haven Hospital – Bridgeport and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Fairfield University where she plans to research and develop a nurse residency program for new nursing graduates.