Photo courtesy WVWC

West Virginia Wesleyan College School of Nursing Convocation celebrates newest graduates

BUCKHANNON — The West Virginia Wesleyan College School of Nursing recognized graduates receiving Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master’s and Doctoral degrees recently.

Dr. Lynn M. Linder, Vice President of Academic Affairs, acknowledged the hard work by graduates that went into achieving the nursing degree.

“Because of the high standards and rigor of the nursing program at West Virginia Wesleyan College, not to mention the knowledge, expertise and dedication of your professors, I know you are extremely well equipped to offer every patient the absolute best care,” she said.

Dr. Tina Straight, director of the School of Nursing, said, “These students entered our nursing program when the Covid pandemic was at its worst. They were challenged by virtual classrooms and virtual clinicals, but their courage, motivation and strength led them to this stage today.”

Mariah O’Hara ’23, of Buckhannon, West Virginia, recalled receiving her acceptance letter to the School of Nursing Spring Semester 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall semester 2020 online and then in-person clinicals in January 2021 to help students make up clinical hours.

“Many of us never thought this day would come and, if I’m being honest, it’s still pretty surreal,” she said. “We have overcome many obstacles and challenges this past year. We have taken exam after exam, all while completing our 120 preceptor hours.”

Dr. Amy Coffman, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, and director of the graduate program, said, “These students have not only successfully navigated a master’s program or a doctoral program, but they have done so while providing hours of comprehensive health care during a global pandemic, the likes of which none of us have witnessed firsthand. It’s been a difficult time to be a nurse; much less a nurse in graduate school. I’m in awe of your achievements.”

Ann Whitehair ’23, of Grafton, West Virginia, MSN graduate, thanked the faculty for their unwavering support.

“I would like to commend faculty for keeping us grounded, focused and motivated, to push us forward to academic achievement,” she said. “Graduation is just the beginning of great things. It gives us the opportunity to serve others, become advocates, engage in community partnerships or further our education and professional development so we can provide safe, quality care in whatever service path we choose.”

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