KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing celebrated the accomplishments of more than 70 health care professionals as they completed degree programs in December 2020.
Thirteen Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) graduates, along with 35 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and 25 R.N to B.S.N. graduates were honored in a virtual ceremony, including receiving their nursing pins, and a moment for each to say a few words of thanks to those who supported them as they earned their degrees. All December graduates may participate in Commencement on May 11, 2021.
Dean Susan Hendricks congratulated them on their accomplishments, particularly persisting to graduate in health care during a global pandemic.
“As you enter into practice in these most unprecedented times, I am certain that you will look back at some of these moments in time many years from now,” she said. “I would encourage you to embrace mindfulness, be aware of the important moments found in each day, and learn from the times of challenge.”
Angela Heckman, assistant dean for the R.N. to B.S.N. program, recognized the hard work program graduates achieved, working in health care while completing their degrees.
“On this day, we celebrate you,” she said. “We know you have worked tirelessly as our healthcare heroes in this pandemic, while juggling schoolwork and personal responsibilities, and yet you persevered.”
Other speakers included Amy Rust, Bailie Sevier, and Jaycie Wright, from the B.S.N. program, and Margaret Sposato, representing the M.S.N. class.
Sposato noted that the two years of the graduate program represents a hard-earned transition to becoming an advanced practice nurse.
“We have become trained experts in our respective fields, ready to enter and excel in the advanced nursing workforce,” she said. “While there will always be more to learn as we grow in our next career steps, my hope for all of us is that we bring with us the knowledge we have gained and the values we have encountered and practiced on this journey at IU Kokomo.”
Wright said while nursing school has been a mental and physical challenge, the work has been worth the reward.
“This year has been interesting, to say the least, but we made it to the finish line,” she said. “We are equipped with the tools to step into the new year with our heads high and our masks on. I am so proud of all of us for our hard work, dedication and perseverance.”
Students ended the ceremony by participating in the nursing pledge, led by Amos Kangau, the student representative from the IU Arnett R.N. to B.S.N cohort.
In addition, Melinda Showalter, adjunct faculty member, received the DAISY award, which honors nursing faculty who instruct and inspire nursing students. The School of Nursing honors full time faculty in the spring, and adjunct faculty in the fall. Other nominees included Della Anderson, Cameron Kitchell, and Joyce Hollingsworth.
Those honored are listed by hometown. They include:
Master of Science in Nursing:
Carmel: Heba Al Anazi
Indianapolis: Muna Albalawi, Saif Almutairi
Kokomo: Ibtisam Alruwaili, Jenica Hartman, Shimaa Hawsawi, Patricia Julius
Noblesville: Margaret Sposato
Peru: Sheila Briner
Russiaville: Kaitlin Carter
Wabash: Austin Keen
Westfield: Samantha Murphy
Saudi Arabia: Amal Mobarki
Bachelor of Science in Nursing:
Anderson: Emily Young
Delphi: Jayci Cloutier, Donna Durham
Fairmount: Kelsey Shields
Forest: Danielle Myers
Frankfort: Anu Arogundade, Brooke Benner, Jenny Lopez