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12 UMFK student nurses honored at pinning ceremony

May 7, 2004

NR04100

Twelve University of Maine at Fort Kent nursing students received their nursing pin, signifying their official entrance into the profession, at a ceremony held on May 6, in the Nadeau Teleconference Room.

Faculty, staff, and students, along with family members and friends of the graduates, gathered to honor the recipients of the bachelor of science degree in nursing.

Students who received their nursing pin are Tracy Bonney-Corson, RN, Parkman, Maine; Miles Brookes, RN, Jefferson, Maine; Judy Dumond, Van Buren, Maine; Joan Haines, RN, Caribou, Maine; Lisa Lajoie, Van Buren, Maine; Carrie Lozada, RN, Westfield, Maine; Kim Martin, RN, Caribou, Maine; Judy McLellan, RN, Clinton, Maine; Sarrah Morris, Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, Canada; Patricia Sponzo-Bechard, RN, Mount Vernon, Maine; Joanne Thibodeau, RN, Madawaska, Maine; and Erin Voisine, Fort Kent, Maine;

Rachel Albert, associate professor of nursing and chair and director of the nursing division addressed the nursing graduates and welcomed them into the nursing profession.

"The pinning ceremony marks a significant milestone for these 2004 nursing graduates and our 19th graduating class," said Albert. "Your school days are over; however, the pinning ceremony is much more than an event to mark the completion of nursing school. The pinning ceremony is a rite of passage into the profession and a reminder to everyone of nursing's well-found historic promise to serve others." Albert added "The pin identifies you as a graduate from the UMFK BSN program, which helps to build trust with your clients." As she ended her address to graduates, she left them with a few humorous tips on how to survive and thrive in nursing, which left a smile on everyone's face.

This year's keynote speaker for the pinning ceremony was Dale Gordon, FNP who is a family nurse practitioner for the Micmac Family Clinic in Presque Isle and at Horizons Health Services. She also works at the Washburn Regional Health Center, a rural family practice with 650 visits per month.

In 1994-96 Gordon served as an assistant professor of nursing at UMFK. Her responsibilities included classroom and clinical instruction of the third and fourth year nursing students.

"There are many challenges facing new nurses today," said Gordon in her address to the graduates. "You will define the role of a nurse as a leader in health care reform and you will face the crisis of insuring health care for all Maine citizens. You must get involved and help impact policy, stay up to date through continuing education and be gentle to yourself. You keep the flame and may you have the courage to fan to flame."

Gordon received her Certificate of Advanced Study from the University of Maine at Orono's Rural Family Nurse Practitioner Program in 1995. Gordon began her studies majoring in biology with a concentration in American Studies receiving a bachelor of arts from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Following her education in Massachusetts, Gordon received her masters of science and applied nursing at McGill University Montreal in 1981.

Gordon is currently a Caribou Board of Education member. Previously, Gordon had been a member of the Maine State Nurses Association, Maine Teachers Association, Maine State Boards of Nursing and held the position of president for American Association of University Women's Caribou branch.