Posted on Aug 4, 2020

Doctoral Nursing Graduates Honored in Virtual Ceremony

Doctoral Nursing Graduates Honored in Virtual Ceremony

The USF College of Nursing celebrated 14 doctoral graduates during a virtual ceremony honoring their academic achievements.

Since in-person gatherings at USF have been restricted due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the Summer 2020 Doctoral Student Graduate Celebration was pre-recorded and broadcast on YouTube on Aug. 4 with nearly 50 guests watching.

The college will officially confer a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to 12 students and a PhD in Nursing Science to two students at Saturday’s virtual university-wide commencement.

College of Nursing Interim Dean Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN, told the graduates that it was an extraordinary time to graduate.

“The country and indeed the world has changed in ways we never expected. As nurses, we have been in the forefront of this global pandemic in many different ways,” she said.

Senior Vice President of USF Health Charles Lockwood, MD, MHCM, offered encouraging words and congratulated them on their extraordinary accomplishment.

He said it has become abundantly clear over the past few months that the world needs compassionate health care leaders committed to scientific evidence.

“This global pandemic has presented us with challenges unlike anything in living memory. And each of you, by choosing this path, has a critical role to play in healing our nation. It will not be easy, but your education has prepared you for these difficult times,” he said.

Student speaker Lanette Dumas congratulated her fellow graduates and talked about her long, winding doctorate journey that included five different advisors who each guided and encouraged her dissertation research in a unique way.

“I learned a lot about myself – most importantly to persevere. I couldn’t look at the whole picture at times, but my determination saw me through,” she said.

“Many of us have been fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. Our lives have been turned upside down due to COVID-19, but we’re here and more importantly, we accomplished a major milestone in our lives – our doctorates,” she said.

During the 54-minute virtual ceremony, faculty members read the title of each graduate’s doctoral project. They will receive a commemorative nursing medallion that marks their achievement as a doctoral graduate, as well as a printed program, in the mail.

In a previously recorded virtual meeting, doctoral students presented their research projects. Faculty awarded ribbons to the top three posters.

The poster winners were:

First place for “Reducing Antibiotic Use in Elderly for Suspected Urinary Tract Infection in Long Term Care” presented by Ostile Peck.

For second place, Kenneth Argote won for “A Team-Based Follow-Up Protocol to Improve Blood Pressure Control.”

Third place went to Jena Morrison for her project, “Impact of Telephone Follow-Up Post Discharge in Cardiac Surgery Patients.”

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing