Nurse Leadership Award winner congratulates classmates for conquering coronavirus pandemic hurdles

The spirits were willing, but the teleconferencing technology, occasionally, could pique.

Lunn, whose smartphone reliably their remarks (phew), said her cohort overcame nerves stirred by the need to learn a lot, fast. But just as patients relied on nursing students during hospital rotations, students relied on the families and one another, Lunn said. Friends helped, too, submitting to practice exams — blood pressure, yes; catheters, no — and a cardboard Florence Nightingale reminded them to excel.

pinning full cohort min
Norwich University nursing students pose for a group photo at the Dec. 16, 2021, Baccalaureate Nursing Pinning Ceremony at Plumley Armory. (Photo by Mark Collier/Norwich University.)

“The learning barriers seemed to pop up one after another,” Lunn said. “The pandemic got worse, so classes stayed online. And when we finally got to class, GoToMeeting would quit midlecture. And, finally, when we had GoToMeeting figured out, just kidding, we’re switching to Microsoft Teams.”

With in-person scant or limited, every moment had to count, Lunn said. Professors, including Llynne Kiernan, brought lab supplies to students in parking lots to save trips inside; students spilled life secrets and stories at lunch or in clinicals, often speaking excitedly all at once.

“Of all the things we learned in nursing school, letting one person talk at a time really wasn’t one of them,” Lunn said, later adding, “We’ve had an unusual course of stay, but that has only made us stronger — closer to one another and capable of handling whatever complications our future patients have in store for us.” 

Lunn, a Madison, Connecticut, resident who’s applying for work in Massachusetts, said her cohort learned to expect the unexpected and to learn and teach continually. On hospital discharge days, when patients get their releases, Lunn hoped their imparted lessons would linger.

“You hope that all your teaching and all you taught was understood,” Lunn said. “You wish them the resiliency to heal and recover from their illness or injury. And you say, ‘I’m sorry we met like this. It was great to work with you and I hope I never see you here again.’”


Here’s the list of pin recipients from the Dec. 16 Norwich University ceremony for Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students at Plumley Armory.

Kaitlyn Brew
Benjamin Brown
Lauryn DePaul
Abena Duffour*
Henry Harmeyer
Elizabeth Haversang*
Elizabeth Johnston
Carina Lau*
Tabatha Leahy
Nina Lunn*
Abigail McKearin
Favour Mgbeahurike
Brianna Mosteller
Chelsea Nieves*
Jessica O’Toole
Corey Pabst*
Julie Reynolds
Jessica Sabick*
Kyrsten Schreiber
Katherine Shine*
Siomara Umana
*Student inducted into the Omega Mu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, an international honor society for nurses.


(Award recipients received commemorative editions of Florence Nightingale’s “Notes on Nursing.”) Academic achievement Julie Reynolds

Nightingale Award
(honoring personal and professional growth during nursing program and compassion and excellence in patient care) Jessica O’Toole

Nurse Leadership
Nina Lunn

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