May 14, 2019
More than 30 students of the Mount Saint Mary College nurse practitioner program were honored at a White Coat Ceremony on Friday, May 10.
The ceremony reflected the transition of the novice nurse to the professional nurse practitioner role. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide high quality healthcare services. They can diagnose, treat, and prescribe across a wide range of health problems.
According to Christine Berté, assistant professor of Nursing, director of the graduate Nursing program, and chairperson of the college’s School of Nursing, Mount nurse practitioner graduates began their journey as registered nurses in a variety of settings and can now enter primary care practices, including family health and internal medicine. They may also practice in acute care settings, such as hospital positions and urgent care/fast track health access points.
“Coupled with the compassion and experience in nursing that they already possess, advanced practice nurses have become one of the most valued groups of healthcare providers in today’s society, and are continually making a significant impact on the nursing profession,” she explained.
Michael Olivette, vice president of Academic Affairs at Mount Saint Mary College, congratulated the white coat recipients on a job well done. “Never forget that the most important thing you can do is follow you passion,” he said.
Michele Caccavano, adjunct Nursing professor, told the graduates-to-be that their dedication has served them well.
“You have persisted, and that’s why you’re here today,” she said. “You ignored the voice in your head that said ‘I can’t do this,’ and instead followed the voice that said, “Of course I can do it!”
With many new career opportunities now open to the students, Caccavano added, “What will your legacy be?”
Graduating student Amy Bryson of Washington, N.Y. offered her reflections on the college’s rigorous graduate program. She thanked the Mount Nursing faculty for their aid in molding her and her classmates into the professionals they are today.
Three students were recognized for excellence in their studies and skills: Hsiao-Fa Williams of Chester, N.Y. and Zena Jamal of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. received the 2019 Sigma Award, and Jennifer Lacina of Staatsburg, N.Y. was presented with the Sr. Leona DeBoer Graduate Nursing Award.
Fr. Gregoire Fluet, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry at the Mount, closed out the ceremony with the Blessing of the Hands.
In addition to Bryson, Williams, Jamal, and Lacina, the graduating nurse practitioner students are: Emily Alsdorf of Gardiner, N.Y.; Ifeoma Awaka of Pleasant Valley, N.Y.; Mariolina Bartolomeo of Stamford, Conn.; Feona Brown of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Alyssa Bujalski of Montgomery, N.Y.; Linda Caffrey of Mohegan Lake, N.Y.; Rosemarie Coleman of Washingtonville, N.Y.; Mariya D’Agnese of Chester, N.Y.; Laura Doherty of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; Mae Fitzgerald of Ulster Park, N.Y.; Therese Fitzgerald of Middletown, N.Y.; Michele Hoffman of Slate Hill, N.Y.; Patricia Holder of Middletown, N.Y.; Elizabeth Jahn of Warwick, N.Y.; Colleen Leo of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; Christina McArdle of Newburgh, N.Y.; Aminata McKnight of Wappingers Falls, N.Y.; Irene Moloney of Rock Tavern, N.Y.; Yanixza Morales of Newburgh, N.Y.; Donna Scuderi of Hurleyville, N.Y.; Erin Skrobanski of Middletown, N.Y.; Kelly Spehalski of Hopewell Junction, N.Y.; Christine Straessle of Carmel, N.Y.; Ashley Stropoli of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Ronald Vales of Stratford, Conn.; Marie Valles of Thiells, N.Y.; Oneida Wands of Newburgh, N.Y.; Khalilah Williams-Perry of Middletown, N.Y.; Tamar Wilms of Millerton, N.Y.; Dawn Woods of Goshen, N.Y.; and Lisa Zylberberg of New Windsor, N.Y.
Mount Saint Mary College will celebrate its 56th Annual Commencement on Saturday, May 18, graduating about 600 students.