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Graduate Entry Pathway pinning ceremony welcomes 38 new nurses to profession

Celebration of milestone achievement held online with pledge, honors and accolades

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

septiembre 15, 2020

Elated faces of the Graduate Entry Pathway Class of 2023 were seen on Zoom and Facebook Live as they joined with faculty, family and friends for the virtual 2020 Graduate Entry Pathway Pinning Ceremony on Monday, Sept. 14.

The Graduate School of Nursing hosted the traditional event that welcomes into the profession students who have qualified for licensure as registered nurses; in the case of GEP students, those with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing. Passage of the national exam after one year of combined bachelor’s and graduate-level coursework is a milestone for GEP students on their four-year path to becoming nurse practitioners, nurse educators and nursing executives with Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.

The pathway program requires dedication and discipline to fulfill rigorous academic requirements on an accelerated timeline. It attracts adults with varied work experiences in and out of health care as well as recent college graduates. The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition that is a rite of passage and a reminder of nurses’ promise to serve others.

Class speaker Amanda Hazeltine acknowledged that external events heightened challenges but that the class soldiered on—literally in the case of National Guard member Jacqueline Mbugua who was called up for COVID-19 relief duty.

“Amidst the backdrop of a pandemic and social injustice, our class demonstrated resilience, compassion and selflessness,” Hazeltine said tearfully. “Our class came together in the most inspiring way to support our community and each other as we completed our nursing studies.”

Awards were presented to Samantha Creamer for Academic Excellence, Kathryn Liziewski for Clinical Excellence and Jacqueline Mbugua for Spirit of Nursing. Hazeltine received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students.

The inaugural Community Partner Award was given to Susan Foster, BSN; Christine Cernak, MPH; and Erin Guzman of the UMass Memorial Accountable Care Organization, one of 20 sites whose preceptors provide GSN students with essential clinical training.

“We are truly honored to welcome you to our profession,” Jesica Pagano-Therrien, PhD, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Nursing and director of the GEP program, told the students. “Wear your pins with pride and determination. Congratulations on all you’ve achieved!”

Watch a video of the ceremony here.

Graduate Entry Pathway Class of 2023

Kyle Bartels
Heidi Anna Boland
Elizabeth Brown
Amy Chau
Anisha Anil Chauhan
Adam Corl
Samantha Lynn Creamer
Maria Danna
Julie Vivika Darcy
Jake Davidson
Brad Demers
Allison Dyberg
Sarah Fixon-Owoo
Casey Gallagher
Courtney Gannon
Kelly Garcia
Amanda Marie Dalia Hazeltine
Claire Hopkins
Victoria Johnson

Sydney Knoll
Melanie H. Kossuth
Madeline Lane Paige
Olivia Laperle
Kathryn Elizabeth Liziewski
Kelsea Elizabeth Lyver
Jacqueline Mbugua
Tara Minucci
Sophia H. Mirageas
Bethany Morrill
Ian Powers
Francis Carlo T. Sabas
Rakel Tavitian
Helen V. Tsiagras
Christine Tuohy
Brandon Valle
Jennifer Velasquez
Elizabeth Vequist
Grace Winship