Valencia Celebrates Completion of Nursing Degrees, Including Inaugural BSN Cohort

Nationally and regionally, there is a shortage of qualified registered nurses, and economic projections predict significant job growth in the occupation in Central Florida. To help meet these demands, Valencia College celebrated 147 nursing students during two ceremonies held on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 — the Inaugural RN to BSN White Coat Pinning Ceremony held at the West Campus Special Events Center, and the Associate in Science (A.S.) in Nursing Pinning Ceremony, held at Olympia High School.

Historically, nurse pinning ceremonies are a symbolic way of recognizing new graduates and welcoming them into the nursing profession.

The BSN event celebrated the 32 students who were a part of the very first cohort to complete this new program. As part of the ceremony, students were not only honored with a BSN pin, they were cloaked with an official nurse’s lab coat. Additionally, 16 students received a merit for their outstanding academic achievement of a 4.0 program GPA and/or a 3.5 or higher overall college GPA.

“The Institute of Medicine Future of Nursing report has recommended that the entry-level nurse be prepared at the BSN level,” Professor of Nursing Diane Reed chair of the RN to BSN program, shared as she explained the importance of this new program. “The BSN-prepared nurse will have the ability to take on a greater leadership role in delivery and development of care. Some hospitals in Central Florida agree that the BSN-prepared nurse is necessary and therefore are requiring all of their ASN RNs earn their BSN within five years of being hired.”

Academic Division Coordinator Danielle McKinnon added, “The graduation of this inaugural class not only shows future students that a BSN is attainable, it also sends the message that you can begin and advance your nursing career at Valencia. Our program provides unique opportunities for nursing students to balance lifelong learning in a collaborative culture dedicated to inquiry and academic excellence. The fall 2019 and future graduates will fulfill our vision of preparing nurses to meet the ever-changing needs of a diverse community through the promotion of safe, quality patient care. This inaugural graduating cohort also holds truth to the commitment Valencia made with our community partners to assist in developing baccalaureate prepared nurses for their facilities”

The A.S. event celebrated 115 students. Of these graduates, 89 completed the traditional A.S. track and 26 completed the accelerated track.

Valencia College is proud of our graduates and the role they will play in supporting our community’s healthcare needs.

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