As the world continues to move forward with the “new normal” due to COVID-19, the College of Nursing virtually recognized and celebrated the academic achievements of 169 graduates who completed their degree requirements this summer.
While this year has dealt with plenty of hardships, 150 BSN graduates pledged themselves to professional nursing with their virtual pinning ceremony.
“The College of Nursing pin can and should be worn with pride whenever UF nurses are engaged in the practice of nursing,” said Anna McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Professor. “It is a distinct symbol of the University of Florida and communicates our dedication to the highest standards of nursing care.”
Lauren Rowe, Accelerated BSN class representative and student ambassador, provided brief remarks on behalf of her class, followed by Ashley-Marie Bodor (BSN 2014), a member of the College of Nursing’s Alumni Council, who recited the Pledge for Professional Nursing. The presentation of pins followed, where graduates were pinned by a family member or donned the pin themselves, while their names scrolled across the screen.
More than 800 UF College of Nursing students, family members and friends counted down to the premiere of the virtual commencement ceremony.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes globally, nationally and, especially, for the nursing profession,” McDaniel said. “By the nature of our profession, nurses must possess inherent flexibility and resilience that is integral to caring for patients in today’s health care setting. I could not be more impressed with how you responded, pulled together and worked through these changes with grace, compassion and dedication.”
As part of the virtual ceremony, Mary Rockwood Lane, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, nurse, healing artist, painter and author, provided an inspirational speech as the guest speaker.
“There will come a moment in your life when you’re a nurse, where you will realize this is why you were called to nursing,” Rockwood said. “In this lifetime, this is the moment you were born to be there for another human being. And as a nurse, when I’ve been engaged with patients, I have had so many of those moments where I’ve witnessed miracles with other human beings, and the privilege of that intimacy and that sacredness of where I find myself in relationship to another human being. So, I call you forth. Nursing has called you. Called you through your life journey. You have been on a path that has brought you here to this moment today.”
The summer 2020 Gator Nursing graduates follow in the footsteps of many great Gator Nurses. Regardless of the current challenges facing the world and the growing complexities of the health care system, these graduates have shown dedication to exhibit and live by the college’s motto of Care, Lead, and Inspire.