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December Pinning Ceremony Celebrates Newest Bachelor's-Prepared Nurses

  By Gianluca D'Elia
  Monday, December 18, 2023

The University of Rochester School of Nursing celebrated graduates of its accelerated bachelor’s and RN-to-BS programs at its Dec. 13 pinning ceremony.

The pinning ceremony, a nursing tradition since the days of Florence Nightingale, celebrates graduates’ transition. Each graduate receives their nursing pin, accompanied on stage by someone who has been a pillar of support, such as spouses, family members, friends, or School of Nursing staff and faculty.

Korie Kelly ’23N spoke on behalf of the RN to BS graduates. Kelly has been a registered nurse for more than 15 years at Highland Hospital, which supported her as she advanced her education. In her role as utilization management nurse manager, she leads a staff of 14 nurses, is responsible for achieving operational objectives, and serves as a clinical resource for staff and other departments.

Kelly discussed the most important lessons she learned throughout her degree program, such as letting failures pave the way for success, taking risks, and embracing diversity.

“You may never feel 100 percent ready for the challenges ahead, but you will likely surprise yourself with what you are capable of and how resilient you are,” Kelly told her fellow graduates."

Kevin Donohue ’23N, an accelerated bachelor’s graduate and former counselor at nearby Brighton High School, delivered the student speech on behalf of his cohort.

“I’d like to think of myself as someone who feels a great deal of gratitude for the people who have had a positive impact on my journey to this point. In reflection, I can also say that I haven’t always expressed that gratitude to the people who deserve to hear it,” he said before sharing words of gratitude for his family, classmates, and mentors, and encouraging his classmates to do the same.

School of Nursing Dean Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, reminded students of the importance of nurses’ roles in health care, and thanked them for their courage, optimism, and readiness to make a difference.

“The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the critical role nurses play in patient care, paving the way for unparalleled opportunities in various facets of nursing,” Kitko said. “The paths you choose – be it in clinical practice, research, education, or administration – will undoubtedly lead to a healthier and more compassionate world.”

Learn more about the School of Nursing’s accelerated bachelor’s and RN-to-BS programs.

Categories: Accelerated Programs, Alumni

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