Living, learning and, in many cases, working in health care through a pandemic is no small feat. But that is exactly what Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s newest group of graduates has been doing over the past 20 months.
On Dec. 15, their perseverance, resilience and commitment to helping others were recognized during seven intimate, in-person convocation ceremonies in the ASU Health Futures Center.
“You rose with the need for change. Learning remotely, providing COVID-19 testing, administering COVID-19 vaccines, delivering care through telehealth, wearing personal protective equipment in health care settings, wearing face coverings on campus, social distancing, and demonstrating compassion and care for yourself and others in ways we never could have predicted. This is your legacy,” Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Katherine Kenny told the graduates.
Like the rest of the university, this was also the first time since fall 2019 that Edson College was able to welcome graduates and their families together in person to celebrate receiving their degrees.
“It’s wonderful to have these ceremonies in person and that families and friends could be here to celebrate and join us as we recognize our graduates’ accomplishments,” Dean Judith Karshmer said.
Just more than 600 Edson College students applied to graduate this fall. Nearly half were in undergraduate nursing-related programs. In fact, five of the seven convocation ceremonies were dedicated specifically to this group.
Between the national nursing shortage and multiple COVID-19 surges, these new-to-the-workforce nurses are in high demand and ready for the challenge ahead.
The other two ceremonies were for graduate students, and for students in baccalaureate health programs like health entrepreneurship and innovation and community health.