Posted on Apr 28, 2020

Nursing Celebrates Doctoral Graduates Virtually

Nursing Celebrates Doctoral Graduates Virtually

The USF College of Nursing celebrated 24 doctoral graduates during a virtual ceremony to honor their academic achievements.

Since in-person gatherings at USF have been cancelled due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the end-of-semester Doctoral Student Graduate Celebration was pre-recorded and broadcast on YouTube on April 28.

The college will officially confer a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to the students in May. And while May commencement ceremonies have been postponed, graduates have the option to participate in the summer ceremonies tentatively scheduled for August.

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

“While many of you are already in the health care workforce, you are also now armed with the skills to advance science, implement new systems, and influence policy in the face of the world’s worst pandemic to date. We hope you will take the initiative to make a difference where it counts the most for the health our communities, the nation, and the world,” she said.

Student speaker Tahera English described her long, nontraditional route to nursing and encouraged classmates to think of the next phase as a battle.

“It’s time to grab our stethoscopes, slip on our scrubs, and don our face masks to protect the American public. It’s imperative that we remember the reason why we took this path,” she said.

“Although the nursing environment that we thought we were entering has changed, we are equipped to handle it. The doctorate program helped us become critical thinkers and problem solvers. We are adaptable and flexible. This is the year of the nurse, and we are the right nurses for this battle.”

During the 50-minute virtual ceremony, the title of each graduate’s doctoral project was read. 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 an earlier virtual meeting, doctoral students presented their research projects. Nursing faculty awarded ribbons to the top three posters.

The poster winners were:

First place for “Retroactive Review of the Prevention, Rehabilitation and Conditioning Protocol” presented by Tahera English.

For second place, there was a tie. Gianna Constantine won for her project, “Evaluating Therapeutic Communication Techniques Using Standardized Patients.” And Konstance Mackie won for her project, “Cultural Competence Training to Identify Military-Connected Children.”

Third place went to Jaclyn Bellassai, Wendy Paraka, and Elizabeth Miller for their project, “Blood Pressure Self-Management with the Commercial Truck Driver.”

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing