NEWBURGH – Three dozen students from the Mount Saint Mary College Nurse Practitioner program were honored at the annual white coat ceremony on Friday, May 12.
The group included the first cohort of Mount Nurse Practitioner grads to receive a post-master’s certificate for Psychiatric Mental Health, which focuses on care for clients of all ages and backgrounds.
The graduates’ white coats or certificates were presented to them by their chosen family members, from spouses and children to parents and grandparents.
The ceremony reflected the transition of the nurses to the professional nurse practitioner role. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide high quality healthcare services. They can diagnose, treat, and prescribe across a wide range of health problems.
After welcome speeches by Rhonda D’Agostino, instructor of Nursing and Graduate Program Coordinator, and George Abaunza, vice president of Academic Affairs, students and their families enjoyed a congratulatory message from Elaine Suderio-Tirone, assistant professor of Nursing.
“This is a moment of pride,” said Suderio-Tirone. “This is the culmination of long hours of study and sacrifice.”
Lynette DeBellis, Nursing School Chair, also addressed the graduates: “We celebrate your success and take great pride in your outstanding accomplishments,” she said.
Graduate Maxine Lindsay-Shillingford of Peekskill, N.Y. was selected to discuss the group’s progression through the rigorous Mount program.
“We have come this far by faith,” she said. “It is faith that has propelled us to navigate the world of technology during the pandemic…Through it all, we persevered. We are blessed with outstanding nursing faculty and staff.”
After the graduates received their white coats and certificates, Lindsay-Shillingford was recognized for excellence with the Sigma Award. Jaclyn Tremblay of Middletown, N.Y. received the Sr. Leona DeBoer Graduate Nursing Award.
Fr. Gregoire Fluet, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry at the Mount, closed out the ceremony with the Blessing of the Hands. As nurse practitioners, he noted, the graduates’ hands are their most important healing tool.