Caldwell, N.J., May 18, 2015 – The Caldwell College Nursing Department held its fourth annual nursing convocation and professional pinning May 15. Nineteen graduating seniors received their pins, a symbol of pride and accomplishment that unites nurses all over the world.
Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, and Theodora Sirota, Ph.D., APRN-BC, CNL, interim director of the nursing program, provided the greetings and congratulated the graduates for their hard work and tenacity. Dr. Sirota said technology has transformed the ability to care for patients and contributed to the knowledge explosion in every health-related field. But along with that knowledge, “nursing has always been about caring … we will always recognize that ours is a profession characterized by deep caring and compassion for all human beings.”
Nancy Becker, Ed.D., interim vice president for academic affairs, told the graduates that they were uniquely prepared to provide the human service of nursing. “Your education has been rooted in the Dominican tradition and reflects the values of Caldwell University: excellence, respect, integrity and community. As you accept the responsibility of nursing, I urge you to embrace those values and remember those who have gone before you and respect the work of those who you are joining now.”
The keynote address was given by Patricia Moulton, Ph.D., R.N., nutrition and health coordinator at Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair, which Caldwell nursing students visited during their community health course. Dr. Moulton said being a professional nurse provides the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. She challenged the students to incorporate dignity, respect and equality into their practice as they begin their nursing careers and to remember to make a difference in people’s lives.
Chaplain Father Albert Berner gave the invocation and blessed the pins. Brenda B. Peterson, M.S.N., assistant director of nursing, presented the candidates.
The Caldwell University nursing pin is a tangible symbol of the students’ hard work and dedication. Pinning represents a new beginning in the journey toward professionalism, dedication and service to mankind. It occurs on the threshold of the graduate’s career as a professional nurse and serves as a warm remembrance of friendship, hours of studying, and academic accomplishment.
The Caldwell pin was designed by representatives from the first nursing graduating class in 2012. The centrally located nightingale lamp is a symbol of care and comfort to the sick and suffering. The cross represents the institution’s Dominican commitment and Judeo-Christian tradition. Laurel leaves encircle the pin and symbolize success, peace and life.
The Peer Mentor Award was presented to Nicole LePore. The Professional Promise Award was given to Judite Resende Ferrao.
Special recognition was given to Lorraine McEvoy, DNP, who helped create Caldwell’s nursing program. Dr. McEvoy works at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and serves as the Executive Director of Nursing Education Associates.
Adwoa Tiemaa Asante was the valedictorian. “The most important thing is that we have achieved something that is honorable and praiseworthy,” she said. Asante thanked the university nursing faculty, saying, “Your passion and love for nursing is one we will strive to imitate as we embark on our professional journey.”
Nan Childress Orchard, DMA, chair and professor of music, provided processional and recessional music by Bach and Mendelssohn. She also performed a Brahms’ Intermezzo as a musical interlude.