Nursing school marks first graduation

A leader in the field of nursing told the School of Nursing’s inaugural class May 13 they will have a hands-on role in crafting the future of health care in America.

Geraldine Bednash, chief executive officer and executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, told the group of about 80 that they are graduating “in a period of unbelievable opportunity for nursing.”

“Nurses have to be intimately involved in the design and change of health care,” Bednash said. “I envy all of you who are graduating because you will see an amazing world filled with changes that I can’t even begin to imagine.”

School of Nursing Dean Jean Johnson said the graduates should celebrate being the school’s first graduating class and said the future of health care lies in nurses’ hands.

“Now some of you think the future of health care is in the hands of physicians, or policy makers or administrators, but I want to tell you it’s nurses who will determine the quality of health care in this country,” Johnson said.

The University’s highest governing body, the Board of Trustees, approved a proposal to establish the nursing school last May. Previously, the department of nursing existed within the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Katherine DeMarco, who received a master’s in nursing, received her third GW degree at the ceremony.

DeMarco graduated from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in 2003 with a degree in human services and a master’s in health services and end of life care from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

She realized nursing was her calling while studying end of life care.

“Being at the bedside, I think, is extremely important,” DeMarco said.

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