a group of Pins
News Story

Pinning Symbolizes Lifelong Connection to Georgetown for Graduating Nurses

Edilma L. Yearwood pins Sherron Thompson (NHS’22).

(May 23, 2022) — At colleges and universities across the country and at Georgetown, nurses mark the completion of their education and the start of their new careers with a traditional pinning — a pin unique to each institution. The May 20 ceremony at Georgetown honored the graduates of the BSN and CNL programs at the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS).

“It is a symbol of our lifelong connection to the Georgetown community, our commitment of scholarship, social justice and contemplation in action, and it’s our pledge to embody our Jesuit values of cura personalis, excellence and the continual pursuit to be women and men in service to others,” said Kelli Giffin, MSN, RN (G’98), manager of the O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center and alumni speaker for this year’s ceremony.

Edilma L. Yearwood pins Alexander Brown (G’22).
Edilma L. Yearwood, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, chair of the Department of Professional Nursing Practice, pins Sherron Thompson (NHS’22) (above), and Alexander Brown (G’22).

“A common thread that unifies our graduates — past, present and future — is a commitment to the values of Georgetown University and to improving the health and well-being of all people,” said John T. Monahan, JD (C’83, L’87), interim dean of NHS.

‘Why Become a Nurse?’

In her student address to fellow BSN graduates, Kathryn Kirshe (NHS’22), answered the question that she and others have fielded over the previous four years: Why become a nurse?

Kathryn Kirshe (NHS’22)
Kathryn Kirshe (NHS’22) 

“Nursing is a calling,” Kirshe said. “A nurse gets up every morning and makes the conscious decision to help people. [Nurses] put the needs of others at the forefront of every decision they make. They put their heart and soul into the work they do. Even after the most difficult shifts, they can say that they made a difference in someone’s life.

Nursing “looks at a patient as more than a set of symptoms or disease, but as a human being with emotions, wants and needs,” Kirshe added. “We get the incredible gift of being able to be with a patient on the best day of their life and hold their hand through the worst.”

Nod to Georgetown Nurse Educators

Marie Beauchemin (G’22), the selected student speaker for the Master’s in Clinical Nurse Leader Program, paid tribute to the nursing faculty for quickly adapting education for a hands-on profession to an online teaching model for prelicensure students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marie Beauchemin (G’22)
Marie Beauchemin (G’22)

“As a class, we are all incredibly grateful to our professors, perseverance in securing in-person clinicals — when it’s seemed nearly impossible — and ensured a seamless transition,” said Beauchemin, who, along with her classmates, began their education in 2020 near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The way our professors were able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape while also prioritizing education is reflective of the high-quality nurses they are, and those that we strive to become.

“Through it all our professors not only provided us with a high-caliber Georgetown University experience, but also a supportive environment, making many of us feel at home despite being miles away.”

“I wish to congratulate all of the graduates on their tremendous accomplishments,” said Edilma L. Yearwood, PhD, PMHCNS- BC, FAAN, chair of the Department of Professional Nursing Practice. “You make us really, really proud. I’m honored to be here with you today to celebrate the completion of your journey from student to professional nurse.”

Nursing Honor Society Welcomes New Members

New members signed their name to Georgetown’s Sigma Theta Tau book.

On May 21, Georgetown’s chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, nursing’s international honor society, also inducted new bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral members. After receiving their purple and white honor cord, new members signed their name to Georgetown’s Sigma Theta Tau book, which contains the name of every new member since 1960.

Incoming School of Nursing Dean Roberta Waite, EdD, RN, PMHCNS, ANEF, FAAN, addressed the newly inducted members and encouraged them to apply the Sigma Theta Tau principles of “love, honor and courage” to advancing health equity.

“No other health care profession interacts with patients more than nursing. Each interaction is an opportunity to confront structural and institutional racism,” Waite said.

Karen Teber
GUMC Communications

Commencement 2022