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.
“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.