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Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 12:00pm

December 20, 2019 marked a day of celebration for the Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences with the hosting of its semiannual nursing program pinning ceremony. A time-honored tradition started at The Nightingale School of Nursing that symbolizes the welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the nursing profession, 78 second-degree nursing students and 28 traditional students received their coveted pins.

A particularly special milestone, this graduation cohort was the first to include former College of New Rochelle (CNR) teach out students. Mercy College welcomed the teach out group in August 2019, after Mercy entered into an agreement with CNR to provide a seamless pathway for CNR nursing students to continue their degree uninterrupted as the institution closed due to financial irregularities.

To ensure educational and instructional continuity, Mercy gained approval from several accrediting bodies including the New York State Education Department to offer a M.S. Family Nurse Practitioner, an Advance Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner and a B.S. Accelerated Second Degree Nursing.

Pinning ceremonies are held for members of the Mercy nursing program who have completed their degrees every December and May. Mercy President Tim Hall gave processional greetings during the December event, while Deborah Hunt ’86, Ph.D., R.N. provided opening remarks.

On the heels of the ceremony, Mercy announced the promotion of Hunt from Executive Director of Mercy’s Nursing Special program to Associate Dean of Nursing. Prior to her role at Mercy, Hunt was the Interim Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the former CNR.

Miriam Ford, Ph.D., FNP-BC, was also promoted from Chief Nurse Administrator to Associate Dean of Nursing. Ford will be administrative leader of the nursing programs at Dobbs Ferry and Hunt will lead administration of the nursing programs at the Bronx Campus.

“This time-honored tradition signifies a rite of passage and an important milestone for our nursing students as they transition to their professional practice roles,” said Hunt. “This particular ceremony also signifies a new beginning for both of our nursing programs which have joined together. The success of the Mercy/CNR nursing teach out program will define our legacy and will have a significant impact on the future of nursing.”

With the matriculation of former CNR nursing students and faculty, increased programs and newly appointed leadership, Mercy’s nursing program is well-poised to develop future classes of exceptional health care professionals and realize future growth.