In February, 18 Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center RNs who earned MSN degrees were celebrated at a luncheon in their honor. The nurses were the inaugural class of a collaborative program with the graduate school of nursing at Lehman College in the Bronx that began three years ago.
Jeanine Frumenti, RN, DNP, vice president and CNO for patient care services at Bronx-Lebanon, met with Director of Nursing Research and Education Amparo Kurtz, RN-BC, EdD, in March 2009, to discuss the creation of the program. They held a one-day sign-up to see who was interested, Frumenti said, and of the 45 nurses who attended, 20 were accepted and 18 completed the program.
“You now have leadership skills you didn’t get from a BSN program and clinical skills that together make better nurses with better outcomes,” she said.
Kurtz expressed her pride for the program’s first graduating class. “You did it and you did it well,” she said during the cohort address. “This day is about you.”
Catherine Alicia Georges, RN, EdD, FAAN, chairwoman of nursing education at Lehman College, served as the event’s keynote speaker. In her address to the students, she reminded them that their accomplishment was not the result of a struggle, but a journey. “You’re not just experts, you’re leaders now,” Georges said. “Leadership means you’re trusted, caring, reflective and have good interpersonal skills. Be humanistic in your approach. The world is run by those who show up every day.”
Members of the MSN graduating class of 2012 included Sheila Audain, Anesta Degrasse-McTier, Lovelace Dompreh, Denise Forbes, Stephaney Gordon-Cowan, Marvia Harriott, Shirley Jackson, Desiree Joseph, Chandra Lall, Sheila Lewis, Tina Maloney-Gracie, Syreen McLean, Suzanne Mullings-Carter, Marisol Nunez, Soomintra Shike, Valrie Stewart, Angela Verley and Joan Williams. The formal graduation will take place in May.
To thank them for their support and mentorship during the program, the 2012 class presented Lehman College faculty with floral bouquets as tokens of their appreciation. Family and friends were treated to a video montage of the students taken during their two years in the program.
Two other MSN cohorts are under way. The 2011 class has 22 students and this year’s class, which began in January, has 24. To end the ceremony, cohort I member Forbes passed on the “key of knowledge” to cohort II member Elizabeth Benedito.
In her closing remarks, Frementi told the graduates that although she encourages them to continue their education, she also advised them to “take this degree and do whatever you want in your profession. It’s a new chapter.”