Posted on Dec 2, 2020

USF College of Nursing Celebrates Fall Doctoral Graduates in Virtual Ceremony

USF College of Nursing Celebrates Fall Doctoral Graduates in Virtual Ceremony

The USF Health College of Nursing held a virtual ceremony to celebrate the academic achievements of 14 doctoral students who are graduating in Fall 2020.

The hour-long celebration was pre-recorded and broadcast on YouTube on Dec. 1 with nearly 50 guests watching.

The college will officially confer a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to 13 students and a PhD in Nursing Science to one student at USF’s university-wide commencement on Dec. 12.

College of Nursing Dean Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN, told the graduates that they are living through a historic event, but are armed with the skills to become nurse leaders who can make meaningful contributions to the nation’s health care.

“As we continue to navigate through the new normal, we hope you will take the initiative to make a difference where it counts the most, for the health of our communities, the nation and the world,” she said.

Senior Vice President of USF Health Charles Lockwood, MD, MHCM, congratulated the graduates on their extraordinary accomplishment in an uncertain era.

“It has become abundantly clear throughout the last 8 months, 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,” he said.

Student speaker Marisa Sweetser said the two-year doctoral journey has been a challenging and enlightening experience. She congratulated her fellow graduates and reminded them they have chosen a profession of exceptional responsibility.

“A doctoral prepared nurse is a nursing leader, one who is not only able to provide patient care, but also able to translate research into proposals for evidence-based protocol changes to ultimately improve patient outcomes and serve patients at the highest level,” she said.

Faculty awarded ribbons to the top 3 student research poster presentation winners.

The poster winners were:

There was a tie for first place. The honors went to Catherine Hernandez for “Improving Care for Military-Connected Children in the Community Setting,” and Sweetser for “A Quality Improvement Project to Update an Anesthesia Protocol for Bariatric Patients Undergoing Laparoscopic Mini-gastric Bypass Surgery.”

For second place, there was also a tie.

The winners were Eveline Rodriguez Roque for “Development of EMS Activation Guidelines for School Health Personnel,” and Thomas Baribeault, Robert Bland, and Michael Brown for “Program Development Initiative to Improve the Quality of Perioperative Healthcare Delivery to Surgical Patients in Recovery from Opioid Use Disorder.”

Third place went to Jill Cinko for her project, “An Interprofessional Approach to Decrease Length of Stay in a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH).

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF Health College of Nursing