ICN's Cipriano encourages School of Nursing grads to be rebels
May 18, 2023
The University of Minnesota School of Nursing celebrated the graduation of 136 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students, 111 Doctor of Nursing Practice students and 5 PhD in Nursing students, as well as 19 Institute for Health Informatics students, at a commencement ceremony May 15.
Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, president of the International Council of Nurses, delivered the commencement address, encouraging new graduates to be rebels to challenge the status quo. “To create the future we want, we all need to be rebels,” said Cipriano. “To be a rebel is to have power to make change and we make change by increasing our agency, which means having the ability to act with purpose.”
Nehita Onwubuya spoke on behalf of BSN students, noting the challenges of earning a degree during the pandemic. “We navigated persistent apprehension as the COVID-19 pandemic ensued before our eyes while bearing witness to the consequences of environmental and social injustice occurring right outside of our campus,” said Onwubuya. “Reflecting on these challenges, I am awestruck by the persistence of each and everyone one of us; by continuing to show up for life and for learning, even when it seemed impossible.”
Levi Temel also spoke on behalf of BSN students, encouraging graduates to take care of themselves and remember why they chose to become a nurse. “The field of nursing provides many challenges and difficulties to overcome, but it also provides us the opportunity to impact lives, to be a kind voice and a listening ear, and to be a light on some of the darkest days the people we help may experience,” said Temel.
Arlene Corpuz, DNP, RN, spoke on behalf of doctoral students, sharing her journey growing up on a farm in Manila, becoming a factory worker in Japan, and then moving to the United States and joining the military. “As we stand here witnessing the American dream alive and well, let us never forget that we have the power to chase our dreams and make a difference in the world,” said Corpuz.
University of Minnesota Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel T. A. Croson, PhD, offered greetings. “Your discipline requires both the rigor of STEM and the sensitivity of the arts and humanities. It is a rare individual who can excel in both domains,” Croson said.
Dean Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FNAP, presented the graduates to Regent Mary Davenport, who conferred the degrees to the graduates.
“The impact our graduates have already had on our communities as students is breathtaking. The expanding scope of the nursing profession’s role in health systems and society is exhilarating,” said Delaney. “It is a testament to nursing’s potential to advance equitable health care to improve the health and wellbeing of all people and it showcases the caliber and unlimited potential of University of Minnesota School of Nursing graduates.”
BSN students participated in a Pinning Ceremony, which is a nursing tradition that dates back more than 100 years where new nurses are presented with the school’s pin by faculty. It represents a symbolic welcoming of new graduates into the nursing profession. The School of Nursing pin features four symbols representing the four dimensions of higher education: the antique lamp represents the metaphysical sciences, the telescope represents the physical sciences, the plow represents the industrial arts and the artist’s palette represents the fine arts. Above and below the shield is the cross of St. George, which for centuries has stood for unselfish service.
“As our newest graduates, you represent both the future of nursing and the School of Nursing’s legacy,” said Laura Kirk, PhD, RN, representing the School of Nursing Alumni Society. “Graduates of the Class of 2023, you make us so proud.”