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Colorado Mesa University nursing students graduate early to support Colorado and community

Nearly 50 nursing students are now eligible to join Colorado’s COVID-19 response effort through early graduation

On April 17, CMU BSN nursing students gathered in a virtual classroom to discuss the merits of early graduation. The meeting resulted in a unanimous decision to organize an early graduation ceremony so that CMU nursing students could aide Colorado’s healthcare workers by reducing the nursing shortage during the pandemic. Students discussed the early option versus waiting until the traditional graduation time and schedule. The decision was universally applauded by program faculty and met with enthusiasm by the graduating nurses.

“The decision had to be made quickly, yet thoughtfully. I was so impressed with the way our faculty worked together and engaged in active dialogue with students to think through all of the pros and cons,” said CMU Director of Nursing Education Lucy Graham, PhD. “I am proud of the enthusiasm, courage and professionalism of CMU’s BSN nursing graduates. They are compassionate, competent nurses who will be able to provide critical services to their communities.”

Service to community and early graduation is possible due to a state order allowing nursing students to complete their clinic work in alternative environments. All CMU early graduates have more credits than what is required by the state board of nursing and are now ready to hit the ground running. The students graduated on Tuesday, April 21, using a virtual event to commemorate the achievement.

“Part of overcoming my surprise at the possibility of early graduation was also realizing that its time for all of us to get out there in the world and serve others," said CMU nursing student Tshering Sherpa. "Especially during this COVID-19 pandemic." 

CMU nursing faculty will begin helping students explore opportunities to join the nursing profession while serving the state and people of Colorado.

“CMU students have once again answered a community call to action,” said CMU President Tim Foster. "Our students are truly remarkable people and make the job of university president remarkably rewarding.”

For information about CMU or Western Colorado Community College nursing programs, community members are encouraged to visit the program webpages.

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Written by David Ludlam