The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) inducted eight nursing students into Alpha Omega, CSM’s chapter of the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society Sept. 8. The nursing students selected for this honor earned Bs or better in all of their nursing courses without repeating the courses and they completed a scholarly project related to the advancement of nursing as a profession.

Eight CSM students display their Alpha Omega Honor Society pins and ropes just prior to their induction ceremony Sept. 8. The inductees in the back row from left are Audrey Dawn Gross, Jade’ C. Wilson, Elizabeth D. Scott, Nanci Sien, and Journey Lyones Gushen. In the front row from left are Brooke G. Gatton, Lezly G. Garcia, and Kristi Jo Kelly.

“This milestone represents the inductees’ commitment to the profession of nursing, hard work, perseverance despite our current limitations, and excellence,” Acting Chair of CSM’s Nursing Program Dr. Sara Cano told the students before a virtual audience of their families, professors, and CSM leadership. “For most of our students, trying to balance family, responsibilities, work, and school has been a monumental challenge. We can all agree that nursing school is challenging at its best, overwhelming at its worst. Nonetheless, these inductees have risen to the challenge and have completed their requirements, culminating on this ceremony tonight.”

Alpha Omega Chapter Treasurer Audrey Gross served as the honor society’s student speaker and shared the details of the inductee’s scholarly capstone project which focused on coping when providing palliative care for the dying.

“During the first half of the 2021 school year, the inductees worked diligently to collectively research and present a scholarly capstone project to further the profession of nursing,” said Gross. “This was done simultaneously with the members also keeping up on their third-semester nursing studies which included: med-surg level II, psychiatric nursing, and community nursing.”

She shared that the group decided to present to the current third-semester psychiatric nursing students about the importance of self-care, therapeutic communication, and cultural and spiritual awareness in the clinical setting.

“We presented cost-effective and evidence-based coping strategies such as de-briefing and expressive journaling and how these strategies can help nurses cope as well as increase overall job satisfaction,” Gross shared. “The process took a lot of teamwork and time management skills, but the end result was content we were proud to present to our fellow nursing students.”

Gross also acknowledged the challenges that nursing students face were compounded by a worldwide pandemic.

“The last year and a half have presented its fair share of struggles and the ongoing need to be resilient,” she said. “The members being inducted today were either in the first or second semester during the onset of the pandemic that prompted the switch to an online learning platform. Several of the members had young children at home during this time, others juggled working in healthcare alongside this program. To say that we are proud of meeting the criteria of being inducted into the honors society under these circumstances is an understatement.”

“In completing your scholarly project, you have demonstrated the scholarship, collaboration, and leadership skills of a professional nurse,” said Nursing Professor Robin Madera, MSN, RN, CCRN when she presented the ceremony’s closing remarks. “Scholarship is not about earning A’s but about making use of knowledge and a commitment to discovering new knowledge. You are finally in the fourth semester and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and here I am talking about lifelong learning. But you are the future nurse leaders and change agents.

“To quote Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’” Madera continued. “Each of you had someone who inspired you to start this journey. As you reflect on this milestone, know that you are now that person who inspires others. You are a role model for your peers and all CSM students. We, the CSM faculty, are so proud of you, and you inspire us.”

The September 2021 Alpha Omega Chapter inductees are:

  • Lezly G. Garcia, of Waldorf
  • Brooke G. Gatton, of Hollywood*Alpha Omega Chapter Vice President
  • Audrey Dawn Gross, of Lexington Park*Alpha Omega Chapter Treasurer.
  • Journey Lyones Gushen, of California
  • Kristi Jo Kelly, of St. Leonard
  • Elizabeth D. Scott, of California*Alpha Omega Chapter President
  • Nanci Sien, Mechanicsville*Alpha Omega Chapter Secretary
  • Jade’ C. Wilson, of Waldorf

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply