Berkeley College nursing graduates answer call to service, step up to fill nursing shortage

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WAYNE, NJ — As communities face a critical shortage of health care workers, 31 Berkeley College graduates affirmed their commitment to service on Friday, April 15. The Berkeley College School of Health Studies honored 17 graduates of its Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and 14 graduates of its Practical Nurse program at an in-person pinning ceremony at The Cosmopolitan in Wayne. 

Dr. Eva Skuka, dean Berkeley College School of Health Studies, called nursing “one of the most noble professions.” 

“It is your obligation from this day forward to stand up for the vulnerable and the voiceless,” Skuka told the graduates. “Practice your profession with commitment and with kindness.” 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030. There are some 194,500 openings for registered nurses projected each year, on average, through 2030, with many of these openings a result of nurses retiring or switching professions. 

“You are now joining a profession that is full of pride, integrity and respect,” nursing professor Angelica Delacruz said at the ceremony. “Those of us who are part of this profession wear our nursing values in our character, in our uniforms, but most importantly in our hearts.” 

“We came through these doors not knowing what to expect, and we definitely did not expect a global pandemic,” graduate Danuta Henriquez, of Newark, said. “Someday, when the pandemic is truly over, future LPN students will never know how we juggled everyday life and school during these strange times.”

Photos Courtesy of Berkeley College