On December 16, 2017, 100 Saint Luke’s College of Health Science nursing students received their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. Of the 100 graduates, 14 were part of the growing online RN-BSN program and 86 were in the traditional BSN class.
“What’s exciting about every graduation is knowing that our students are stepping out of the College with jobs waiting for them,” said Dean of Nursing and Professor, Victoria Grando, PhD, RN.
The commencement featured speaker Haley Hanson, JD, a partner at Husch Blackwell who advises the College and other academic institutions on compliance and governance issues. During the Commencement, Hanson shared a personal story of a nurse who helped her family during her multiple childhood surgeries. “Nurse Donna will always be remembered for the care, love and support she offered my parents in their time of need,” she said. “Always remember that you can make a real difference in the lives of the families you serve.”
The ceremony highlighted top students and faculty members for their achievements. Toni Ramos and Shannen Stout received the Academic Excellence Award as the BSN students with the highest grade point average. Amber Maggard was awarded the Professional Excellence Award, and Miranda Baker received the Clinical Excellence Award. Nominated by her clinical preceptor, Amethyst Jade Ganson received the DAISY in Training Award. The faculty chose Associate Professor & Clinical Coordinator Vicki Meek, MS, RN, CNE for the Professional Achievement Award.
Maithe Enriquez '81, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN received the Barbara L. Kleist Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Enriquez is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia Sinclair School of Nursing. She has conducted funded studies with underserved, vulnerable populations to develop practical interventions to help improve health outcomes. She maintains a clinical practice caring for adults living with HIV disease and is the co-author of What Nurses Know…HIV/Aids. She also travels several times a year to the Dominican Republic to conduct research and provide nurse training.
Graduation was held at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri and included the awarding of diplomas and a candlelit reading of the International Pledge for Nurses. Nine students received their nursing pins from family members who are also RNs including two alums June Knaack ‘44 and Dr. Melva Steen ‘48 and emeritus faculty member Karen Lea.