USask College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner graduates gather at fall convocation.
USask College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner graduates gather at Fall Convocation. (Photo: Breanna Pochipinski)

Historic fall nursing convocation at USask

History is made at USask Fall Convocation as the College of Nursing celebrates the largest class of Saskatchewan-based nurse practitioner graduates to date.

By Kylie Kelso

As the University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Nursing celebrates 85 years of delivering nursing education, the college also celebrated making history at Fall Convocation.

The fall Class of 2023 is the largest class of USask nurse practitioner (NP) graduates from Saskatchewan, the second largest class of NP graduates to date, as well as the largest number of self-declared Indigenous nurse practitioner grads in college history.

“NP’s are a vital part of the health-care team improving access to primary health care for many Canadians,” said Janet Luimes, academic program lead for the nurse practitioner program at the College of Nursing.

“The number of nurse practitioner students has grown substantially over the past decade and graduating 32 new NPs, 16 of whom are from Saskatchewan, is something to celebrate. Each graduate will make a difference in the community where they practice.”  

 USask College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner graduates gather at fall convocation.
Melissa Mish is a graduate of the USask College of Nursing. (Photo: Submitted)

Melissa Mish from Kenosee Lake, Sask., is one of the NP graduates this fall.

I accepted a nurse practitioner position in a rural community and just finished my second week,” she said. “I strive to provide my current and future patients with the highest quality of care and utmost compassion.”   

USask College of Nursing celebrated graduates from a number of nursing programs during convocation on November 8 including Master of Nursing – Thesis (MN), Master of Nursing – Professional Practice (MN), Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (NP), and Postgraduate Degree Specialization Certificate Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (NP).

Mish looks back on her time at USask fondly and is thankful for the close relationships the NP students formed.

Getting to meet so many wonderful nurse practitioner students from across the country, we all support one another,” she said. “We bounce different ideas and questions off each other, which is especially helpful going forward in our new careers as NPs.”

College of Nursing dean Dr. Solina Richter (DCur) had a message for new nursing grads.

“Nursing education requires determination, commitment, and passion. Each one of you chose to advance your nursing education when you enrolled in your graduate nursing program. Today is a day you have worked incredibly hard for: a day to celebrate. It is your day. It is a day to pause and be proud of your accomplishments. You’ve finished your graduate nursing studies and you have lots to be proud of.”