Baltimore, Md. — The University of Maryland School of Nursing graduated the largest class of nursing students in the state of Maryland at ceremonies held May 18 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Degrees were awarded to more than 500 nursing candidates, including eight PhD degrees, emphasizing the significant role that research plays in the profession of nursing. These graduates represent all candidates from the 2007 academic year and include nearly 400 new nurses, most of whom will be providing direct patient care in regional health systems.
Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, welcomed everyone and extended remarks to the students. “Very few professions allow you to have such a significant impact on people's lives and those of their families,” she stated. “I applaud your dedication, and encourage you to reach for your goals and to remain active in your profession.”
A true friend and supporter of nursing for many years, guest speaker U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski roused the crowd with her comment, “If you want it done right, get a nurse to do it. If you want the best, get a University of Maryland nurse!”
The Convocation address was presented by Lisa Rowen, DNSc, MS '86, RN, senior vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She told graduates that the most important guiding principle in her life was to “establish strong and positive connections, bonds, and relationships that seek to enlarge, rather than diminish, other people.”
“You are all the same in that you have worked diligently, persevered, completed your programs, and will end your day with a diploma in hand,” Rowen said. “But you are all different because each of you will walk away from here with something that no one else has, and that is your own individual ability to influence the world around you through your relationships. I would like to ask you to consider how you will influence this world. How will you care for and tend to your relationships with others? How will you positively enlarge and impact others? Because, in these questions, you will find answers to constantly evolve yourself as a nursing leader.”
Bachelor of Science graduate Christiana Nwaolu delivered remarks on behalf of the students.