Three UIU-Mesa students recently received their BSN pins. They are the first students to complete the center's RN-BSN program. From left are Marianela Melendez, Maricopa, Ariz.; Nelson Silva-Craig, Maricopa, Ariz.; and Kathy Schmitz, Peoria, Ariz.
MESA, Ariz. (March 14, 2014) – The first members of the RN-BSN degree program at the Upper Iowa University-Mesa Center recently received their pins for completing the program.
Kathy Schmitz, Nelson Silva-Craig and Marianela Melendez began a full-time track toward completing the RN-BSN program about a year ago. All three are employed by Maricopa Integrated Health Systems, which partners with UIU through a Corporate Advantage Program that provides tuition discounts.
All three graduates of the UIU-Mesa BSN program are skilled nurses who have already been working in the field. The length of their RN careers varies from seven to 36 years. Recent promotions to management positions encouraged two of the students to return to college for the higher nursing degree, and they enrolled in Upper Iowa’s RN-BSN program at the Mesa Center. The BSN program includes both science and business-related courses that strengthen nursing skills and help prepare nurses for management and executive positions.
Schmitz, Craig and Melendez received their BSN pins recently surrounded by family, friends, faculty, staff, students, the UIU Director of Nursing, and Mesa District 3 Councilman Dennis Kavanaugh. The students also presented their final projects during the event.
Councilman Kavanaugh was very complimentary of the city’s partnership with UIU under the new economic development initiative.
Pinning ceremonies hearken back to the 1800s and honor the completion of nursing programs. Each pin is distinctive and identifies the program from which the nurse graduated.
“While nurses to longer wear traditional white uniforms or nursing caps, graduated nurses proudly wear a pin, which is a symbolic and meaningful part of each student’s journey to become a nurse. It is the universal symbol of the pledge that students make to practice according to the standards and ethics of the profession,” said UIU Director of Nursing Virginia Wangerin. “We are proud each time we bestow this recognition on one of our RN-BSN graduates. It was especially meaningful as we recognized the first three students to complete the major at the Mesa Center.”
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 6,200 students – nationally and internationally – at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing