2018 Practical Nursing Graduation Congratulations to all our new nurses!

Graduates of the Practical Nursing program, Class of 2018, were lauded for their dedication, hard work and commitment to a demanding but rewarding career in the service of others.

In a moving ceremony at Manhattanville College's O'Byrne Chapel, the 60 new nurses donned traditional caps and lapel pins given to them in a pinning ritual beforehand. They also posed for official portraits. Big smiles and selfies were in abundance.

This is more than a graduation, said Joseph. DiCarlo, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources for WestMed Medical Group. Instead it is like an enormous job fair, DiCarlo said, and he was the only recruiter invited.

This event is the culmination of your hard work and a celebration of your achievement, he told the graduates.

“Throughout your experience in your program, you have learned a lot," DiCarlo said. "Many of you went outside your comfort zone. Many of you probably lifted up a fellow student in need of support, extra help on an assignment and a good old ‘Don’t worry. It’s going to be OK.’ Little did you know that you have exemplified the spirit of today’s health care industry.

As the first group of graduates began their official procession, they broke out in an impromptu dance that drew raves of approval from the assembly.

Family, friends, and supporters filled the chapel. The ceremony began with an introduction by program supervisor Will Guterman. Supervisor Will Guterman introduced F. Daniel Myers, the Director of Adult and Community Services, who shared his family’s own tradition in the medical field — more than 100 years in health care. He specifically cited, with a framed photo as proof, his aunt, a World War II Army nurse, and told of how she once operated for 36 straight hours in freezing conditions.

Assistant Superintendent for Education Services James A. Gratto applauded the excellence and dedication of the graduating class and introduced the member of the SWBOCES Board of Education. Gratto provided his observations about what is unique to the ceremony, in that students on stage, sit facing their family, friends, teachers, support, and share this moment of accomplishment in a special way.

“Many graduations aren’t set up like this," Gratto said told graduates. "This is a rare opportunity for you collectively to see the looks on their faces."

The result is that they can see their loved ones throughout, he told the assembly.

"We get to see you right now from here," he said. "They can pick you out. They know where you’re sitting. They know where their support is, their family members, their friends, their support, their pride and joy."

"Take a look at that emotion both ways," Gratto added. "It's all the same, the pride that's so evident, and the hope that’s for the future."

Nursing faculty and staff were also recognized with roses and thunderous applause and cheers from the graduates.

Select students received awards for achievement, with representatives from the full-time, part-time day and part-time evening programs speaking. One shared her journey of having left an accomplished life in banking and finance to follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a nurse. The others shared their experiences and each offered a comedic clinical diagnosis for their classmates which included sleep deprivation, test anxiety, and snack machine diet woes.

Each student was then called by name to accept their certificate, greeted by members of the Board of Education and program staff and ending with a lapel pins applied by their faculty. Warm hugs and more bright smiles followed.

The culminating candle-lighting ceremony saw each graduate hold a lit candle as the recited the nurse’s oath. Nurses in attendance were invited to join them. When the final candle was extinguished the proud graduates proceeded outside to celebrate.

Continue scrolling down to view a slideshow of more photos from the event.

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