Chaminade welcomes the incoming nursing class of 2016

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SM Webster

The procession line of new nursing students at the beginning of the induction ceremony.

The Henry Hall courtyard was filled with parents and children who had gathered for the third induction ceremony of the incoming nursing students on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m.

The sun was descending in the sky, and as people anxiously shuffled in their seats, a Hawaiian chant came from four local nursing members standing behind the crowd. The four then led a procession line of nursing faculty members, followed by the incoming class of 84 nursing students.

“There is a lot of inspiration that goes on especially with the ceremony being in the beginning of the year,” said Angelina Khamis, 19, a sophomore nursing student who stood by as the ceremony began. “We are committed to doing something for the next four years, so we work harder.”

Fr. George Cerniglia opened the ceremony with a blessing as the Chaminade president, Bro. Bernard Ploeger, welcomed the audience. The dean of the nursing program Dr. Stephanie Genz, then took the stage as she began to tell the tale of the nursing programs birth.

Three years ago, Chaminade University’s vision to incorporate a nursing program into the curriculum came true, not only for the university but also for the newly acquired staff for the program.

“I had the chance to help start up a new program and be a part of something very special.” said Keck, “ Dr. Stephanie Genz, when I met her, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.”

Now as the only four-year nursing program on the Hawaiian islands, Chaminade celebrates each year by throwing the incoming nursing students an induction ceremony.

With this unique experience at Chaminade, students are given an opportunity to pledge to their family and fellow nursing students that they are willing to take on the task to become a professional nurse.

“Since they only have one nursing class during their first year, this is a way to help introduce them and show the commitment to their family and to themselves to the profession of nursing,” said Ashley Keck, 25, the program assistant for the nursing program. “We have done it because it is a way to show them that we really care.”

During Dr. Genz’s opening remarks, she stated that the rigorous curriculum the nursing program offers at Chaminade is only part of what the nursing program is about. She believes that what nurses do must truly mean something. This is why the nursing faculty at Chaminade pushes their students into reaching their full potential.

“Nursing is not an easy major, so I also see the event as being a commitment to the program itself,” said Dorian Cabanit, 20, a junior nursing student. “What makes us different from other schools is that we are nursing students from day one and are not required to go through any type of ‘pre-nursing’ program.”

At Chaminade, the department for nursing works hard to uphold its reputation through its faculty members’ drive and commitment to the program. The continual process with the accreditation of the program has been a long haul for the university. Through the nursing department’s persistency, Chaminade aims to have the nursing program fully accredited by November.

The impact the nursing program has on its student’s reaches from beyond the curriculum aspect and encompasses the everyday lives of the nursing students on and off campus.

“We support each other and want nothing more than to see each other succeed,” said Cabanit. “During the ceremony we said a special pledge to promise to become great future nurses, and as a result I’ve been able to make the most amazing friends anyone could ask for.”

The class of 2016 reciting the International Nursing Pledge. Photo by SM Webster

Like a family, the whole nursing department stood by to show its support for the students of the class of 2016 as they recited their pledge into the nursing program.

The induction ceremony concluded with a prayer of remembrance for professor Henry Gomes, who had just recently passed and had been a generous donor for the nursing program, followed by a final celebration for the newly pledged nursing students.

“I will do my utmost to honor the international code of ethics applied to nursing,” the students pledged during the ceremony, “and to uphold the integrity of the professional nurse.”