MILLEDGEVILLE — Along with more than 370 Georgia College students receiving their undergraduate and graduate degrees this weekend, the winter commencement also marks the inaugural graduation of the first class of doctorate students in the university’s history.
Earning their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees are Carol Boyer, Kay Brooks, Sandra Copeland, Chioma Okereke and Laurie Parkman.
“As the oldest in the group, this has been a lifelong goal of mine. I’m excited Georgia College gave me the opportunity to achieve that goal. This is an exciting program for Georgia College, and when I was accepted I was truly honored,” said Boyer, 56, who has worked as a nurse for Central State Hospital for the past 33 years. She received her master’s in nursing from Georgia College in 1996. “I have loved nursing all of these years because it’s such a rewarding career. I plan to continue at Central State Hospital and start a new career next year as I retire from the state of Georgia.”
The School of Nursing celebrated its graduates with a ceremony Friday in the Arts and Sciences Auditorium. The DNP students were distinguished with certificates and congratulated by faculty, staff, fellow graduates, family and friends.
“I’ve been a nurse anesthetist for 14 years and I decided I wanted to teach anesthesia. With the conversion of advanced nursing practice at the doctorate level, I decided to enroll here,” said Parkman, 42, a McIntyre native who earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Georgia College in 1994. She continued her studies to earn a master’s from the Medical College of Georgia in 1999. “The classes are online and the faculty are very easy to work with. I plan to continue working at the Medical Center of Central Georgia and teach students from the Georgia Regents University in Augusta. My family is excited for me to finally be finished.”