Nursing graduates ready for the next step in their career path


Summer graduates of the Master’s and Post-Master’s in Nursing programs at the School of Nursing and Health Sciences were recognized for the completion of their studies at a pinning and award ceremony. price last week.



Surrounded by family and friends, 117 nurses celebrated their graduate graduation, prepared for a career path in healthcare as advanced nurse practitioners.

On August 5, the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Sciences held a special ceremony at the Lakeside Village Expo Hall to honor summer graduates of the MSc and post-MSc programs. nurses.

During the ceremony, students received academic awards and their coveted nursing pins, marking the start of their careers as nurse practitioners, from Cindy Munro, Dean of the School, and Mary Hooshmand, Associate Dean of Programs. graduate clinics.

“This step is a springboard for your future success. Education always changes us, and your new perspectives and abilities will continue to enrich you professionally and personally,” Munro told the graduates.

“I am particularly proud of our national nurse practitioner certification exam pass rates, which are exceptional for each of our clinical specialties. Excellence in performance is a tradition that I would like this promotion to continue,” added Munro.

The school’s master’s degree in nursing is among the top 30 nationally and ranks #1 in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school’s master of nursing and post-master’s program graduates achieved a combined pass rate of 95.7% for the first time in their national nurse practitioner certification exams for 2021.

“As you begin your journey as advanced practice registered nurses amidst these extremely difficult but opportunity-filled times for healthcare professionals, I urge you to remain as engaged and engaged as you have been. in your training,” Hooshmand told the graduates. “If you do, you will continue to triumph and make a difference in the lives of your patients.”

Throughout their studies, many female students have completed graduate school while maintaining their employment as registered nurses. Graduates have participated in special health initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, expanded the reach of homeless health care in our communities, or continued to provide patient care amid the pandemic.

During the ceremony, nurse practitioner program directors Brenda Owusu and Kenya Snowden introduced three outstanding students—Karla Castillo Averhart, Kayla Meysand Taylor Stephan—with the Academic and Clinical Excellence Award for their work in the clinical specializations of acute care, primary care, and family nurse practitioners, respectively.

“It is an honor to be recognized for my academic and clinical achievements,” said Averhart, recipient of the award for the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program. “It means a lot to be recognized for the hard work and dedication I have put into this profession over the past 15 years.”

Averhart completed her accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing at the university in 2007, before deciding to return to her alma mater for her master’s degree last year. She thanks her husband for his support as she completed the rigorous diploma program.

Meys, recipient of the Academic and Clinical Excellence Award for the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program in Adult Gerontology, looks forward to transitioning from a registered nurse to an advanced nurse practitioner in her field.

“The knowledge base is there when you’re a registered nurse. Now, as a nurse practitioner, I apply it differently,” Meys said. She said she hopes to continue her work as a gastroenterology nurse practitioner.

Stephan, who was recognized at the ceremony for her work in the Family Nurse Practitioner program, also received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University in 2016. The value of faculty and curriculum was important to her and was integral to her decision to return for her master’s degree. Stephan was thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce her family to the many faculty members who have played an important role in her academic and professional career.

“It was wonderful that my teachers finally met my parents after the ceremony,” Stephan said. “UM is such a big network. All my teachers have been very helpful to me. She plans to return there to complete her doctorate in nursing in January.

Graduates also received their nursing pin, a distinctive emblem in the nursing community to signify completion of a degree or certificate program, followed by a celebratory reception for attendees.

This is the first time since 2019 that the school has held its annual summer awards ceremony in person. And during her address, the Dean reminded graduates to keep persevering.

“Leaving here, I hope you will continue to take risks; don’t be afraid to make a mistake or even fail. And, if and when you stumble, be empowered to learn new lessons from your experiences,” Munro told the graduates at the evening. “Passion and perseverance – together, known as courage – will take you further than you ever imagined.”




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