Berkeley College Nursing Graduates Answer Call to Service, Step Up to Fill Nursing Shortage and Help Their Communities

Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Senior Director, Communications and External Relations


Pinning Ceremony Honors 31 Healthcare Heroes Joining ‘the Most Noble Profession’

Berkeley Nursing

Photo Caption: As communities face a critical shortage of healthcare workers, the Berkeley College School of Health Studies honored nursing graduates at a pinning ceremony on Friday, April 15, 2022. (See full caption below.) 

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As communities face a critical shortage of healthcare workers, with nearly a third of U.S. nurses planning to leave the profession, 31 Berkeley College graduates affirmed their commitment to service on Friday, April 15, 2022. The Berkeley College School of Health Studies honored 17 graduates of its Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (LPN to BSN) program and 14 graduates of its Practical Nurse program at an in-person pinning ceremony at The Cosmopolitan in Wayne, NJ. 

Eva Skuka, MD, PhD, Dean, Berkeley College School of Health Studies, called nursing “one of the most noble professions.” 

What to Watch: Click here to see a segment about the nursing shortage on NJ Spotlight News. 

“It is your obligation from this day forward to stand up for the vulnerable and the voiceless,” Skuka told the graduates. “Practice your profession with commitment and with kindness.” 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Registered Nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030. There are some 194,500 openings for registered nurses projected each year, on average, through 2030, with many of these openings a result of nurses retiring or switching professions.* 

Roberta Bernard of Ocean, NJ, an LPN to BSN graduate employed by Hackensack Meridian Rehabilitation in Shrewsbury, NJ, was inspired to pursue the profession after her mother had a heart attack in 2008. 

“Doctors are amazing, but the people who have the real impact on the patients is the nurses,” said Bernard, who served as a student speaker during the ceremony. With her degree, she plans to pursue a career as an Emergency Room nurse, and one day to continue her education and become an administrator or nurse educator. 

Berkeley College recently announced the launch of a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), an advanced degree is for nursing professionals interested in expanding their opportunities as nurse educators, managers and practitioners. With this program approval, Berkeley College – New Jersey has the only LPN-BSN-MSN pathway program in the State of New Jersey. 

“You are now joining a profession that is full of pride, integrity and respect,” said Angelica Delacruz, DNP, RN, Professor, Nursing, Berkeley College School of Health Studies. “Those of us who are part of this profession wear our nursing values in our character, in our uniforms, but most importantly, in our hearts.” 

“We came through these doors not knowing what to expect, and we definitely did not expect a global pandemic,” said Danuta Henriquez, a Practical Nurse graduate from Newark, NJ. “Someday, when the pandemic is truly over, future LPN students will never know how we juggled everday life and school during these strange times.”

Berkeley NursingPhoto Captions: (Above) Eva Skuka, MD, PhD, Dean, Berkeley College School of Health Studies (left), with Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (LPN to BSN) and Practical Nurse graduates. (Top Left) Roberta Bernard of Ocean, NJ, a graduate of the Berkeley College LPN to BSN program, speaks about her passion for the nursing profession with NJ Spotlight News. (Top Center) Graduates Denine Miess of Randolph, NJ; Nicole Streko of Mine Hill, NJ; Jessica Castro-Quijano of Keyport, NJ; Metin Yuksel of Belleville, NJ; Rachele Nagy of Perth Amboy, NJ; Jaime Esposito of Hazlet, NJ; and Bryan Williams of Brooklyn, NY. (Top Right) Practical Nurse graduate Krystle Peters of Bloomfield, NJ, with daughter Kassidy, 2. 

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers continuing education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan, NY, and in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 4,000 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for nine consecutive years. U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College (NJ) one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in its 2022 edition of the Best Colleges Survey.  In 2021 Berkeley College (NJ) was also recognized for the first time as a Top Performer on Social Mobility among colleges in the region. The website address is