Kasia Dodman is no longer a student in the Graduate School of Nursing program at the University of Massachusetts. That’s because Dodman has completed the program with flying colors and was pinned as a registered nurse during a ceremony this week on the University of Massachusetts at Worcester campus.
Dodman will be specializing in cancer care and applying her skills in her efforts to care for patients as a nurse practitioner in acute care. The Graduate Entry Pathway pinning ceremony has been a tradition within the nursing education community around the world for generations and is considered a nurses rite of passage from nursing education into the nursing profession. It also serves as an ongoing declaration to both nurses and to their respective communities that those who become nurses have taken an oath to serve others.
Dodman says that the pinning ceremony is for her the beginning of her transition from years of trying to find her calling into what has become the career of her dreams. She says she can hardly contain her excitement at the thought of being a “doctorally prepared advanced practice nurse practitioner.” She says she feels as though nursing is the consummate profession that allows those who practice it to come home at the end of every shift knowing that they made a significant difference in the lives of those they helped.
Dodman is what many consider a “nontraditional” student. She left her native Poland at the age of 20 and came to the United States without knowing any English. Nevertheless, she was able to enroll in classes as Clark University where she eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art Studies as an ESL student. From there she earned an MBA and eventually worked in banking.
In 2009, however, after coming to the conclusion that finance was not her calling, she became interested in health care and fell in love with the profession during her time as a pre-med student at the Harvard Extension School as well as during her clinical work at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.