HPU Dean of the School of Nursing Edna Magpantay-Monroe (center) with fall 2023 HPU nursing graduates.
HPU School of Nursing students at the annual pinning ceremony held at the Hawai'i Convention Center.
The newly redesigned pin encapsulates elements that symbolize the HPU School of Nursing.
The ceremony featured a candle lighting presentation by April Akeo and Joshua Akeo.
The keynote speech was delivered by HPU Associate Professor of Nursing Hazel Downing.
The HPU School of Nursing (SON) celebrated the achievements of its fall 2023 graduating class during the annual pinning ceremony held at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on December 16, 2023. This event, designed to welcome new nursing students into the community, symbolizes resilience, pride, honor, and commitment to knowledgeable, ethical, patient-centered care.
A total of 66 BSN students, six MSN students, three DNP students, and two PMC students were part of the event.
In a historic moment for fall 2023 graduates, HPU witnessed its largest-ever graduating class of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students, and an impressive 31% of all graduates earned their degrees in healthcare disciplines. The growing demand for health science programs at HPU, underscored by the addition of new programs, was evident in this commencement ceremony. Anticipations are high that future graduating classes will prominently feature health sciences graduates, emphasizing the enduring interest in these programs.
“It fills me with immense pride to witness our nursing students reach this significant milestone in their journey. Seeing them graduate is a testament to their dedication and the transformative impact of our nursing programs,” HPU Dean of the School of Nursing Edna Magpantay-Monroe, ED.D., APRN, CMDCP, said. “Delivering the history and significance of the pinning ceremony speech was truly special, as it allowed me to share the rich tradition and values that make our School of Nursing unique. Each pin represents not just an academic achievement but a commitment to the principles of resilience, pride, honor, and patient-centered care that define our nursing community. It is a privilege to guide these exceptional individuals as they embark on their careers, and I am confident they will carry the spirit of aloha, pono, and kuleana with them, making a lasting impact in the healthcare field.”
This pinning ceremony marked a milestone for the SON as it welcomed graduate students and post masters certificate earners for the first time in School history. A total of 66 BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) students, six MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) students, three DNP students, and two PMC (Post Master's Certificate) students were part of the memorable event.
Dean Magpantay-Monroe highlighted the significance of the redesigned pin, featuring Diamond Head and a lei, as it encapsulates the elements symbolizing HPU and the SON.
“The Diamond Head imagery embodies our island community, while the lei signifies a warm welcome and ʻohana. Aloha, pono, kuleana represent our values at HPU, and this new pin serves as a representation of the distinctive elements and values that render the HPU School of Nursing truly remarkable,” she said.
The pinning ceremony included welcome remarks by HPU Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D., and a keynote speech by HPU Associate Professor of Nursing Hazel Downing, ED.D., RN. The ceremony also featured a candle lighting presentation by April Akeo, Ph.D., MBA, RN, and Joshua Akeo, MSN, RN.
Remarks were delivered by Juliet Llarenas, BSN, President of the HPU Student Nurses’ Association, with the BSN class student speech by Yailenne Rosado, BSN. The graduate class student speech was delivered by Dione Cole, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, and HPU Professor of Nursing Patricia Burrell, Ph.D., APRN, BC, CNE, recited the “Modern Nightingale Pledge.”
Outstanding HPU students and faculty members received annual awards this year. The recipients in each category are:
Extraordinary Full-Time Faculty Member
Extraordinary Nursing Student
The Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Online Graduate Nursing Education
The Adjunct Faculty Clinical Excellence Award in BSN Education
Graduate Student Awards:
Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Dean's Writing Award
BSN Student Awards:
Lacy Razor and Rosaria Badalementi