Thirty-Two current University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing students were inducted into the Nursing Honor Society and 38 UMFK nursing students were honored at the Nurse Pinning Ceremony held on Friday, May 9, 2014 in the Fox Auditorium.
The theme of the ceremony was “Nurses Leading The Way: Transforming Health Care Through Leadership.” Every day, nurses step forward embracing new technologies, resolving emerging issues, and accepting ever-changing roles in their profession. They lead the way for their patients, colleagues, organizations, and the health care industry as a whole.
The afternoon ceremony began with inspirational words from Candace Gagnon, a senior nursing student.
The featured keynote address was by Anne Perry, FNP. Perry is a nurse practitioner who works and resides in Calais. She has served four consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, proudly representing the constituents of District 31. During her time in the legislature, Perry sponsored a number of bills to address health care delivery and the practice of nursing in the state of Maine. She also served as the chair of the Health and Human Services and the Insurance and Financial Services Committee during her tenure.
Perry works at Calais Regional Medical Services as an advanced practice nurse. She is a member of the Board of the Maine Nurse Practitioner's Association. She also serves as adjunct nursing faculty for Husson University, her alma mater, teaching, a Health Policy class to nurse practitioner students. Perry also works with Quality Counts on the Choosing Wisely Initiative, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation to help physicians and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures and support physician efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices.
Dr. Jenny Radsma, professor of nursing, introduced the nursing students who were inducted into the UMFK Nursing Honor Society: Amir A. Abdelwahed (Damascus, Syria); Mary C. Alligood (Jay, ME); Timothy T. Bair (Caribou, ME): Kelly J. Bell (Presque Isle, ME); Taylor G. Butler (Palmyra, ME); Matthew R. Charland (Palmer, AK); Miranda J. Donovan (Masardis, ME); Madeline M. Farren (East Machias, ME); Gaige P. Flewelling (Houlton, ME); Bonnie J. Foster (Fort Kent, ME); Skyla J. Hamilton (Wilson, WY); Brooke L. Harris (Lee, ME); Shawna L. Johnston (Isleboro, ME); Nettie-Kate Jordan (Machias, ME); Sheila G. Lank (Pembroke, ME); Julie M. Lokken (Norway, ME); Rebecca J. Martel (Wallagrass, ME); Jessica L. Martin (Fort Kent); Emily M. McDermott (Waldoboro, ME); Travis L. Norsworthy (Fort Fairfield, ME); Dylan T. Ouellette (Caribou); Krystal L. Paradis (Frenchville, ME); Sarah P. Paradis (Frenchville); Caroline P. Peckenham (Orland, ME); Heather M. Pelletier (Woodland, ME); Jonathan B. Post (Chapman, ME); Carole Richards (Madawaska, ME); Kaitlin Robinson (Orrington, ME); Deborah Siegel (Woolwich, ME); Katie Thuotte (Gorham, ME); Cynthia Wailus (Penobscot, ME); and Mary Yun (Chicago, IL).
All students have excelled in the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UMFK and are very active in campus activities. Each student was presented an honor cord, which they will wear when they graduate, and a membership certificate.
The UMFK Nursing Honor Society was formed in the spring of 1998 for the purpose of recognizing and fostering academic excellence and scholarship among students, alumni, and community leaders in nursing.
Students with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, in the top 30% of their graduating class, and who represent the attributes of scholarship as defined by Boyer (1990) and Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society for Nursing, were eligible for induction to the Honor Society.
Dr. Jenny Radsma, professor of nursing, announced during the ceremony, The best oral presentation at the 2014 annual UMFK Scholars' Symposium, which was held on Friday, April 25 in the Fox Auditorium, went to Kelly Bell, Travis Norsworthy, Heather Pelletier, and Kelsey Ferris. The group presented on “Dental Health Disparities Facing the Aroostook County Population.”
To begin the Nurse Pinning Ceremony, Cheryl Roberts, assistant professor of nursing, thanked the following institutions for supporting the graduates during their clinical courses, as well as offering them a setting in which to complete their preceptorships: Calais Regional Hospital; Cary Medical Center; Eastern Maine Medical Center; Maine Coast Memorial Hospital; Maine General Medical; Maine Medical Center; Mayo Regional Hospital; Mercy Hospital (Portland); Midcoast Hospital; Northern Maine Medical Center; Rhode Island Hospital; Rumford Community Hospital; St. Joseph Hospital (Bangor); and The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC).
Because the UMFK Nursing Division relies so heavily on the hospitals in the region, Northern Maine Medical Center; Cary Medical Center; and TAMC were presented a plaque, which will be displayed on the wall of their institution. Roberts also mentioned - to the many professional nurses, who committed themselves to precepting the UMFK senior students to become the best nurses they can be and who made a difference in the students' lives, by asking the audience for a round of applause.
During the presentation of awards, the Division of Nursing annually recognizes a member of the community who has made an ongoing and outstanding contribution to health care in general, and, in particular, to the advancement of nursing education.
Director and Assistant Professor of Nursing, Dr. Erin C. Soucy, presented the 2014 Community Leader Award to Lynn Turnbull, who is an exemplar in every sense of the word of what it means to be a professional nurse and community leader. This individual has spent more than 30 years applying her skills and resources to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.
“Lynn continually steps forward to embrace new ideas, resolve emerging issues, promote professional decorum and effective communication, and adapt to the changing roles in our profession. You deserve our heartfelt admiration for your efforts in leading the way for your patients, your colleagues, and your organization. Even in the face of tragedy and challenges, Lynn continues to rise above it all with proactive solutions and creative ideas. You are a leader. Lynn also is an advocate for nursing, not just in her own institution, but throughout the state of Maine,” stated Dr. Soucy.
“In 2009, UMFK adopted 11 outcomes for nurses that are used in several states. Our nursing students work toward achieving these 11 program outcomes or overall educational goals. Lynn has advocated that these same goals be utilized with staff nurses throughout the state of Maine. These cutting edge goals will allow patients to receive the best possible care.”
“Lynn and I have worked together to develop a proposal for a Dedicated Education Unit at the Aroostook Medical Center, a unit whereby the staff nurses will have specific knowledge about clinical instruction and where our students will receive assistance with skill and knowledge building. This endeavor demonstrates Lynn's dedication to nursing and nursing education,” added Dr. Soucy.
Lynn Turnbull, RN, MHA, currently is the Director of Clinical Education, Hemodialysis and Chaplaincy Services, and Nursing Administration at TAMC in Presque Isle, Maine.
In an effort to recognize the outstanding achievement of nursing students in their contributions to undergraduate research, the Division of Nursing has established an award. Senior students, whether as individuals or as groups, are considered for this award for coursework completed as part of the nursing curriculum demonstrating the student's or students' excellent academic ability and scholarly understanding; sophistication, originality, and unusual depth and breadth of the project work; ability to use complex research tools such as primary resources, databases, and specialized databases; exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize relevant and evidence-based literature from multiple sources.
This afternoon we honored a group of students who demonstrated an ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize evidence based literature from multiple sources. Their completed Research Utilization Project was methodical, well-written, and well-organized. The recipients of the Undergraduate Nursing Research Award were Candace Gagnon; Nina Dubois Theriault; Ronda Williams; and Olena Yermak. The project studied was the use of maggots in wound management.
The Division of Nursing also honors an alumna or alumnus during the pinning ceremony. The Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award is bestowed upon a nursing graduate of the UMFK Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, who displays accomplishment in the nursing profession, as well as a commitment to his/her community through volunteer service and humanitarian efforts. Assistant Professor of Nursing, Dr. Tanya Sleeper, presented the award to nursing alumnus Owen N. Davis.
“Davis was a 2013 graduate of the accelerated nursing program. As a recent graduate, Owen is already making an indelible mark in nursing and being recognized for his exceptional care with the Daisy Award for Exceptional Nurses,” noted Dr. Sleeper.
During the ceremony, Christopher J. Schock was honored with the Student Nurse Citizenship Award. The award honors the diligence, manners, responsibility, conscientiousness, and thoughtful involvement characteristic of an exemplary citizen.
Professor Dr. Jenny Radsma noted, “Christopher Schock demonstrated real leadership, teamwork, and initiative, while a student in the nursing program.”
She continues to say, “What began as a class project, this student expanded into the next sizable step. Working with others, this student helped identify a need for making a shift in the culture among UMFK students, from one of inactivity to one of movement, specifically walking - and biking - reasonable distances rather than getting in the car to drive.”
Schock started a bicycle share program at UMFK through the funding by the UMFK Foundation for paint, locks, bike racks, and maintenance of the donated bikes. He organized a number of other students to repaint 10 bikes that now reflect the distinctive Acadian flag: red, white, or blue and dotted with yellow stars. These bikes will soon be available for use by students on campus, part of the Acadian commuters, and nursing students will ride them at the World Acadian Congress parade to be held in August.
Dr. Radsma added, “He's been a positive and energetic influence in the nursing program.”
Emily Cassidy addressed the senior class. Cassidy spoke on the journey to becoming a nurse and empathy to best describe not in words, but in the actions of a nurse.
Announcement of the students who received their nursing pins was made by Dr. Radsma. The nursing pin signifies the completion of the bachelor of science in nursing degree and also symbolizes the honor and responsibility held as a professional nurse.
BSN students who received their nursing pins were: Maisie M. Albert (Fort Kent, ME); Tena M. Auston (Mariaville, ME); Charlene Bartlett (Stockholm, ME); Lori D. Bishop (Ellsworth, ME); Julie J. Bouchard (Fort Kent): Janessa L. Brewer (Raymond, ME); Kristianna Brown (Windham, ME); Emily L. Cassidy (Naples, ME); Jennifer M. Colpitts (Scarborough, ME); Kayla L. Davenport (Fort Kent); Jennifer Dionne (St. David, ME); Stephanie M. Drost (Woodland, ME); Alexandra Drummond (Veazie, ME); Nina Dubois Theriault (Fort Kent); Sokharath Duong (South Portland, ME); Megan Duprey (Van Buren, ME); Christopher D. Eastman (Exeter, ME); Katherine C. K. Fortin (Winthrop, ME); Tina J. A. Frenette (St. John Plantation); Candace Gagnon (Madawaska, ME); Jessica M. Holmes (Portage, ME); Emmaly S. Jurson (Hodgdon, ME); Kiely P. McCrea (South Thomaston, ME); Deliya Michaud (Frenchville); Hannah J. Mikkonen (Peru, ME); Jennifer M. Morris (Belfast, ME); Elizabeth A. Morneault (Eagle Lake, ME); Jonathan B. Post (Presque Isle); Devvan T. Powers (Old Town, ME); Abigail M. Randall (Skowhegan, ME); Jenna Roy (Fort Kent); Christopher J. Schock (Yorba Linda, CA); Whitney G. Sinclair (Dexter, ME); Lucy Soucy (Van Buren); Hollie-Anne Stanwood (Steuben, ME); Rachel A. Storey (Cumberland, ME); Kacey L. Toussaint (Wallagrass); Ronda L. Williams (Perth Andover, New Brunswick, Canada); and Emily M. Worcester (Harrington, ME).
Dr. Soucy brought the evening to a close.
The UMFK Nursing Division faculty and staff are: Dr. Erin Soucy: Diane Gagne, administrative specialist II; Diane Griffin, assistant professor of nursing; Larry Nadeau, nursing resource center manager; Sandy Pelletier, assistant professor of nursing; Denise Potvin, clinical placement and testing coordinator; Dr. Jenny Radsma; Cheryl Roberts; and Dr. Tanya Sleeper.