MMU School of Nursing Will Celebrate Inaugural Class

Mount Mary will recognize its first graduating cohort from the new School of Nursing at the spring commencement ceremony on May 18, 2024. The school was officially launched in 2023 during the university's academic restructuring.

Dean Julie Maher reflected on this milestone, sharing a sense of pride in her students and optimism for the program's future. To Maher, a diverse student body and focus on holistic practice make Mount Mary nurses uniquely equipped to step into their new roles as healthcare leaders.

"Mount Mary is so centered around mission and tradition," she said. "A focus on caring for the whole person– physically, mentally and spiritually– is embedded into everything that we do."

"I feel so blessed to see our students progress through commencement," she added. "Being part of the first graduating class of the MMU School of Nursing is such an honor."

Since her arrival last year, Maher and the department faculty have added several events to recognize students, including a "white coat" celebration for those beginning clinical rotations and a pinning ceremony for seniors marking their official entry into the field. Although new to the university, these traditions have well-established roots, brought to prominence by famous Civil War field nurse Florence Nightingale. Both events serve as a reminder of the importance of caregivers.

Student Isnina Juma is among the inaugural School of Nursing graduates. As a first-generation student, Juma faced challenges, but credits the supportive atmosphere of Mount Mary as a factor in helping her cross the academic finish line.

"Giving up was not an option," she said.

The graduating senior plans to specialize in women's and children's health and hopes to eventually work as a travel nurse.

Juma offered words of advice to her fellow graduating classmates. "Life is about learning from our experiences," she said. "Don't be afraid to challenge yourself. Go for your dreams and don't ever give up."