CUNY SPS Honors Class of 2020 Nurses

CUNY SPS Nursing Student Receives Her Honorary Pin

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is proud to honor the nurses of the Class of 2020 with the launch of a virtual convocation website celebrating them and their achievements. The site recognizes all 2020 nursing graduates, including the first graduating class of master’s degree students, and features congratulatory messages from students and faculty members.  

The 2020 celebration of CUNY SPS nursing graduates, which was already noteworthy as theInternational Year of the Nurse and National Nurses Week and Month, also takes on special significance given the sacrifices so many have made to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly all CUNY SPS nursing students have served on the frontlines of the crisis, risking their lives to help others suffering from the virus, all while completing their program coursework. 

Dr. Margaret Reilly, academic director of CUNY SPS Nursing programs, welcomed the students to the virtual convocation website in a video message that acknowledged the difficulties they encountered this semester. “This Spring was especially challenging as the world grappled with a pandemic in which our nurses played a major role….When the World Health Organization declared 2020 to be the Year of the Nurse, no one would know how prophetic it would be that Nurses globally would be highlighted as healthcare heroes for their unwavering strength and dedication in providing patient care during the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic,” said Reilly. “In spite of these professional demands, our students demonstrated their incredible resilience and persistence and completed their degrees.”

In addition to Reilly’s remarks, CUNY SPS Dean John Mogulescu and Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs George Otte also posted congratulatory messages to the graduates. A separate page of the convocation website also features notes and well-wishes to the graduates from other members of the CUNY SPS community. 

Alongside the messages, the virtual convocation website names all the students who have reached this important milestone. In 2020, there were 155 RN to BS candidates who fulfilled the requirements for their degree during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters. Listed with the graduate’s names is information about their capstone research project,which summarizestheir contributions to the culture of health made to the community of clinical partners who collaborate with the CUNY SPS Nursing Program.

This year also marked the first class of nursing students who have completed a graduate degree. Nine students received MS degrees, with seven from the Nursing Education program, one from the Nursing Organizational Leadership, and one from the accelerated BS to MS in Nursing Organizational Leadership. Of special note is that nearly half of the graduates are alumni of CUNY SPS—four of the nine had attended the RN to BS in Nursing program prior to their master’s.

The virtual convocation website also provides information about the practicum project that all nine graduate students completed. The practicum is a scholarly project whose purpose is to equip nurses with valuable knowledge and skills to lead change, promote health, and elevate care in various roles and settings. This year, special acknowledgment goes to Melissa Hinds, MS in Nursing Education, who additionally managed to contribute to a professional interdisciplinary conference and was awarded first prize for her scholarly research project at the first Virtual Conference on “Promoting a Culture of Research” hosted by the John F Kennedy, Jr. Institute for Worker Education at CUNY SPS.

With the addition of both these graduating classes, the total number of nursing graduates at CUNY SPS since the programs began in January 2014 comes to 535.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

For over 15 years, the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) has been leading online education in New York. Offering the most online Bachelor’s and Master’s degree options at the City University of New York, CUNY SPS meets the needs of adults who are looking to finish a bachelor’s degree, progress from an associate’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, and advance in the workplace or change careers.

The School’s growth has been remarkable, with twenty-three degrees launched since 2006. Enrollment has risen by more than 30% in the last four years to over 3,700 students in the credit-bearing programs and thousands more who are enrolled in non-degree and grant-funded workplace learning programs. In addition, the School has an active Alumni network and has established the CUNY SPS Foundation, which offers multiple scholarship opportunities to current students.

CUNY SPS has been ranked in the nation’s top 5% by U.S. News & World Report for the past six years, most recently in its list of the 2020 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, making CUNY SPS the highest nationally listed program in New York State and New York City.

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