Felician University marked its 55th year of nursing education Thursday, January 21 with a virtual winter pinning and recognition ceremony for 80 new nurses.

Dean of the School of Nursing, Christine Mihal, Ed.D., R.N. acknowledged that the graduates will be beginning their nursing careers during what she hopes will be the worst healthcare crisis they will ever experience, and reminded them that being a registered nurse means something to the public because, “Nurses speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

“Continue that tradition,” she said. “Be visible and be proud.”

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Felician University Interim President James Crawford, III, told the graduates the ceremony was more than just a celebration of the accomplishment of completing a course of study, or an acknowledgement of the dedication and effort it took to reach this place saying, “The pin you put on today connects you to a long lineage of committed professionals back to the first nurses and their devotion to their craft, and most importantly to their patients.”

The new nurses are part of the legacy of the Felician Sisters, the order of nurses and teachers who founded Felician University. Dr. Sylvia McGeary, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Mission Integration congratulated them saying, “You now join the ranks of the sisters who have passed their heritage, and their legacy on to all of us. And that includes being women and men who go out into the world to be changemakers, to be people who can bring compassion, expertise, and competence to all that they do.”

Academic Excellence Awards in Nursing were given to Lyndsay Curran and Ayesha Patel.

As a solemn part of the virtual ceremony the nurses put their pins on their left lapels, or were pinned by a loved one, then placed their hand over the pin and recited the nurses pledge which officially welcomed them into the nursing profession.

Dr. Sabratha Thomas, Dir. of Nursing Academic Services for Felician’s Hybrid ABSN program told the new nurses that being a new graduate nurse during a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart adding, “As you will look for guidance, you will be expected to lead, as you will work hard every day in practice, and you will fall behind at times. You will be expected to excel. As you go home at night wondering if you made a difference, please remember you are the difference. We are confident our Felician grads will exceed expectations.”