Saint Luke’s College Graduation

Saint Luke’s College held Commencement on December 9 for 84 BSN, 24 RN-BSN, and two Post-Graduate Certificate students.

“I love everything about graduation,” said Sharon White-Lewis, MSN, RN, Director of the BSN track. “We witness these students work so hard to get through our program so it is extremely satisfying to see them turn into professionals.” 
This was the largest number of RN-BSN students to receive their degrees in the College’s history at one time. The RN-BSN track was reintroduced at the College last fall. “It is a very flexible online program that allows students to graduate with their BSN in as little as two years,” said Beth Cita, MSN, RN, Director of the RN-BSN track.
Each commencement ceremony highlights students for their achievements. Kristina Groll, Christina Histand and Blaire Mayhue achieved the highest grade point average and each received the Academic Excellence Award. Christina Histand also received the Professional Excellence Award presented to the student who demonstrated a high potential of professionalism in nursing and is chosen by both faculty and students. Kyle Faris received the Clinical Excellence Award as determined by the faculty. 
The faculty also chose Sharon White-Lewis to receive the Professional Achievement award given to the faculty member who demonstrates engagement in a scholarly activity, professional organization involvement and/or health-related community service in the last year.
The College chose Jennifer Green, RN, BSN, as this year’s recipient of the Barbara Kleist Distinguished Alumni Award. Jennifer is a 2007 graduate and is now serving as the Clinical Forensic Program Manager for Saint Luke’s Health System. She developed the KC Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program that is used both in the System and throughout the Kansas City area. 
Dr. Benitez, President and CEO of the College and keynote speaker, Dr. Melinda Estes CEO of the Saint Luke’s Health System, led the ceremony. 
Graduation was held at the Kansas City Scottish Rite on Linwood Boulevard and included a pinning ceremony—unique to nursing—in addition to the traditional awarding of diplomas.