SPOKANE and PULLMAN, Wash.– The Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington State University College of Nursing will celebrate the 125 statewide nursing graduates from the fall 2003 class at a convocation ceremony Dec. 12, in Spokane, and graduation ceremonies in Pullman, Dec. 13. 


Nursing students continue to receive multiple professional offers weeks, and even months before they graduate, due in large part to the growing nursing shortage affecting hospitals and health care organizations nationwide. Many graduates are trying to determine which offer they will accept upon passing their licensure exam. Options range from positions in the government, insurance, hospitals, home health care providers, to the military.

Nurses are at the core of quality and consistent patient care. As the largest single health care profession, employment for registered nurses will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2008 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). As a high demand profession now and to the future, more students are considering nursing as a career.

“The shortage issues have impacted our applicant pool in a very positive manner bringing us excellent students who are making nursing their first, second or even third career,” said Dorothy Detlor, dean of the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing. “Our undergraduate applicants are exceptionally well qualified. Our graduate students are preparing to become nurse practitioners, educators and leaders in the nursing profession.”


Aimee Oswald, a 24-year-old senior is completing her senior practicum experience in the Operating Room at Deaconess Medical Center. In January she will begin a six-month Perioperative internship assignment at Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The professional and learning opportunity, for which Oswald will receive approximately $40,000, will ultimately lead to a permanent RN assignment within one of the many the surgical areas of the hospital.


“I learned about the position from the OSHU recruiter who attended our campus Career Fair event in November. As a highly competitive position, one not usually offered to new graduates, the hiring manager said my undergraduate degree from the WSU College of Nursing weighed heavily on the decision to offer me the position,” Oswald said.


The professional commitment to nursing is demonstrated during a traditional convocation ceremony held in conjunction with graduation ceremonies each semester. The convocation ceremony is a time for sharing with family, fellow students and faculty the goals and dreams each graduates has for their nursing career. During the ceremony students receive their nursing pins from family members and light a candle, a symbolic image of the nursing profession.


Students from Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Walla Walla and Yakima will participate in convocation ceremonies in Spokane and Yakima (Dec. 14). Fall graduation ceremonies are held only in Pullman. Several undergraduate and graduate nursing students from the various campuses will travel to Pullman for commencement ceremonies.   This fall’s graduating class consists of 117 students receiving Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees and eight receiving Master in Nursing degrees from WSU College of Nursing campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Walla Walla and Yakima.

In order to receive a license to practice, registered nurse candidates take a test known as the National Council Licensure Examination, abbreviated to NCLEX ®. This test is given to assure that entry-level nurses are competent to perform effectively and safely. The Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing continues to have one the highest pass rates for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. May 2003 graduates achieved a 98 percent pass rate on the exam.

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU and Whitworth College. Each year the college educates more than 600 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other state educational institution.  For more information about the College of Nursing visit the Web site at nursing.wsu.edu.