December 2018

Five local registered nurses attained a new milestone for the University as they became the first RN to BSN cohort to complete their Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree.

Their achievement was celebrated recently with the honored tradition of the nursing pinning ceremony prior to their graduation on December 9.

Dr. Phyllis King, professor of nursing and chair of the RN to BSN program, prayed the invocation of the soon-to-be graduates. She had shepherded these working nurses through their studies as they balanced their home and family responsibilities with their employment and school work.

Olga Gay of West Palm Beach, Kathleen Simpson of Lake Worth, Judnia Theophile of West Palm Beach, Mary Daniel Udo-Akang of West Palm Beach and Masiai Willis-Jones of West Palm Beach received their nursing pins and lit their lamps as part of the ceremony.

Dr. Raquel Vera-McLean, associate professor of nursing at PBA, explained the context of the ceremony as the official initiation into the profession of nursing.

In her remarks, Vera-McLean quoted Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 that there is a time for everything,

“Somewhere inside you, you were called to pursue higher education. Perhaps to be the light to future generations of nurses. Perhaps to lead, to heal and to serve at the highest level of your capacity,” she said.

“I thank you for that courage. I I thank you for remaining steadfast and thank you to your families and friends who supported you through this journey and transformation.”

Noting that several of the students plan to pursue graduate studies, Vera-McLean said, “You know that this is not the end. I am very excited for you and can only imagine the things that you can do.”

She concluded with the verses of “Do It Anyway” that reportedly were found written on the walls of Mother Theresa’s home in Calcutta and seem to be based on the writing of Kent Keith adapted in a more religious way.

“Give the best you have, and it may never be enough. Nurses, give your best anyway.”

Pictured above: From left Masiak Willis-Jones, Judnia Theophile, Dr. Phyllis King, Kathleen Simpson and Olga Gay celebrate their pinning.The fifth graduate, Mary Daniel Udo-Akang, was unable to attend.

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