Newman University honors Fall 2016 nursing degree candidates

Newman University recognized 19 candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the Fall 2016 Nurses’ Pinning ceremony held Dec. 9 on the Newman campus.

The event is a tradition in the nursing discipline that dates back more than 130 years in the United States. At Newman, the director of nursing places nursing pins on graduate candidates’ lapels as a symbol of their completion of the baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) program. The Newman pin is unique to the university, and was designed by the first graduating BSN class at what was then Kansas Newman College.

The ceremony included remarks by Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Long, Ph.D., a blessing of the pins by Newman Chaplain Fr. John Fogliasso, and a welcome from Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.

Nursing students' family, friends and other well-wishers filled the Gorges Atrium at a reception following the pinning ceremony.

Nursing students' family, friends and other well-wishers filled the Gorges Atrium at a reception following the pinning ceremony.

Carrocci noted in her remarks that all 19 Newman BSN candidates had either accepted jobs or were deciding among two or more job offers. This is the second consecutive semester that all nursing students were assured having jobs prior to graduation.

The ceremony also included a brief address by Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter, M.S.N. Vetter referenced a recent report by The Institute of Medicine on “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” which calls for nurses to take an active role in transforming healthcare. She also spoke on her personal experience observing Newman nursing graduates.

“These RNs filled me with a sense of comfort as I observed their practice, and a great feeling of pride as I observed the quality of care they provided to patients,” Vetter said. “These graduates were transforming society through each patient they touched. You also possess this ability to transform society - to transform healthcare. As you enter this profession and work alongside your peers, remember to look to the future; be a leader, strive for quality and safety, and be a life-long learner.”

Katie Degenhardt of Wichita, second from left, received the Newman University Fall 2016 Distinguished BSN Graduate Award. With Degenhardt are Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter, M.S.N., left, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Jane Weilert, Ed.D., second from right, and Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.

Katie Degenhardt of Wichita, second from left, received the Newman University Fall 2016 Distinguished BSN Graduate Award. With Degenhardt are Director of Nursing Teresa Vetter, M.S.N., left, Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Jane Weilert, Ed.D., second from right, and Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.

The ceremony concluded with the naming of the Distinguished BSN Graduate Award. The award is given to a graduating nursing student who has a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the nursing profession and involvement in the Newman and greater Wichita communities. The Fall 2016 award was bestowed upon Katie Degenhardt of Wichita.

Degenhardt, who has accepted a job in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital, was active in the Newman Nurses Club, the Newman Nurses Christian Fellowship and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She also volunteered for several university events, and to coach volleyball at a local middle school.

The Newman University BSN candidates for Fall 2016 are:

Belle Plain, Kan.
Morgan Crenshaw

Conway Springs, Kan.
Brooke Fisher

Colwich, Kan.
Emily Unrein

Derby, Kan.
Stephanie Ford *

Garden City, Kan.
Rikkie Hemmert *

Goddard, Kan.
Meggan Craig
Bailey Davis

Wichita, Kan.
Timothy Brown
Courtney Coad
Katie Degenhardt
Taylor Hawkins
Daisey Mijares
Matthew Oatman
Kristine Rowe
Ashton Schrag

Murrieta, Calif.
Michelle Marchese *

San Diego, Calif.
Rylan Sankey

McCook, Neb.
Brittini Bieker

Houston, Texas
Michelle Nagy

* Denotes Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society inductee

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