On December 14, 2018, the inaugural cohort of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program graduated from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS).
Seven of the eight MSN graduates attend the ceremony for the USAHS San Marcos campus. Amongst the graduating class was Subash Adhikari, Stephanie Carpenter, Marni Farr (not in attendance), Donielle Ferriman, Deborah Lewis, Patrick Mayorga, Allyson Roeda and Valera Wahlers.
The evening before the ceremony, students and their guests were invited to a celebratory dinner with USAHS staff to honor this great accomplishment.
Dr. Melanie Logue, Senior Family Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator, raised a toast to the graduates. She said as the first graduates of the program, they have paved the way for future students and she thanked them for their continued involvement with the university.
Students talked about their excitement and their futures in the profession. They also discussed their gratefulness for the USAHS program, its dedication to their success and their satisfaction about the recent Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation the MSN program received.
“I feel excited for the future and thankful for this rewarding experience” graduate Patrick Mayorga said. “It’s important because informatics touches every part of healthcare, so we’re striving to improve healthcare in every aspect.”
Stephanie Carpenter has been a registered nurse for 20 years working in various specialties including medical/surgical nursing, oncology, pediatrics, neurosurgery, neurocritical care, obstetrics, and paranesthesia. She currently works in outpatient surgery at Augusta Health in Mount Crawford, Virginia. Carpenter looks to change her career path with her MSN, Nursing Education from direct patient care to teaching future nurses.
Marni Farr is an experienced nurse skilled in emergency nursing at a Level-1 adult and pediatric trauma center, progressive care unit, telemetry, healthcare and healthcare management. Although she was unable to attend the ceremony, Farr completed her MSN with a focus on Executive Leadership.
Donielle Ferriman is a Certified Clinical Documentation and Certification Registered Nurse who has a history of working in the higher education industry. She is a strong administrative professional graduating with an MSN focused in Nursing Administration.
Subash Adhikari has over five years of nursing experience and currently works at Oklahoma University Medicine, Inc. He has specialty experience in intermediate care, medical/surgical nursing and geriatric psychiatric nursing, and pursued his MSN, Nursing Informatics to blend his information technology knowledge in nursing.
“I am feeling great. I’m glad even with all of the ups and downs of being the first cohort that we graduated today, and I’d like to thank USAHS for the opportunity to be in the program,” Adhikari said. “It’s been a wonderful journey.”
Patrick Mayorga has 14 years of Case Management experience in hospitals, medical centers and health organizations in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. He graduated from USAHS with an MSN, Nurse Informatics.
Deborah Lewis has 18 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in the Riverside, California area. She began as a Respiratory Care Practitioner for seven years in Los Angeles. Lewis also volunteers in the Riverside community as a mentor for children, a gardener and takes shelter animals on pet therapy visits to schools and hospitals.
“It just feels surreal that we did it as the inaugural class and we’re done,” Lewis said.
Allyson Roeda is an experienced Registered Nurse skilled in Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU), med-surg, and orthopedics. She neonatal resuscitation and basic life support certified and skilled as a midwife assistant and doula. Roeda graduated with a Masters in Nursing, Nursing Education and is keeping her options open in her future as a nurse. She wants to return to the bedside as she feels she still has a lot to learn but has an interest in midwifery.
Valerie Wahlers has experience as an RN Case Manager and recently started as an RN Care Manager at Scripps Health in Encinitas, California. She received her MSN with a Nurse Executive focus.
“USAHS is proud to present this initial cohort of diverse, passionate MSN graduates. They set great examples for this program and are poised for success in their perspective futures as nursing professionals,” Dr. Logue said.
“Congratulations to our first Master of Science in Nursing graduates,” USAHS Director for Nursing Programs Dr. Robin Dennison said. “These eight students are exemplary of the nursing students at USAHS. I look forward to hearing about their impact on our healthcare system as they implement their roles of nurse executive, nurse informaticist, or nurse educator.”