Released on December 13, 2023

UCF College of Nursing’s newest graduates will positively impact the health of communities as nurses, nurse practitioners, leaders, educators and researchers.

The sun rises above Addition Financial Arena on the UCF campus in Orlando, Florida

On Friday afternoon, UCF will award 225 nursing degrees and graduate certificates at the Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony at Addition Financial Arena. The newest Knight nurses will join their peers to impact the health of communities throughout the state and nation as providers, leaders, educators and researchers.

For Fall 2023, UCF will award 162 bachelor’s degrees, 28 master’s degrees, 21 doctoral degrees (DNP and PhD), and 14 graduate certificates.

Students graduating this semester with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) either completed one of UCF’s concurrent degree programs where the student began an associate’s degree at a community college and completed their bachelor’s degree at UCF, or completed UCF’s fully online RN to BSN program for registered nurses to advance their education.

Among the graduates earning a bachelor’s degree for Fall 2023 are four academically talented and high-achieving students who earned the distinction of graduating with University Academic Honors:

  • Daffne Diaz, Cum Laude
  • Sabrina Cester, Cum Laude
  • Riley McGinley, Magna Cum Laude
  • Madeline Shane, Summa Cum Laude

The 28 students graduating with a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) completed one of UCF’s online programs, which are ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Those programs include Nurse Educator, Leadership and Management, and Healthcare Simulation.

Twenty-one students graduated with a doctoral degree, 18 with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and three with a Ph.D. degree. These graduates will practice at the highest level either as nurse practitioners, nurse executives or nurse scientists and faculty.

This semester marks a milestone for UCF’s Nurse Executive DNP program, which prepares students for executive leadership and decision-making at the highest level. With the six new graduates for Fall 2023, the program, which began in 2012, will graduate its 100th student.

Among the Fall 2023 graduates is Karenna Thatcher ’17MSN ’23DNP whose scholarly quality improvement project sparked a systemwide initiative at AdventHealth.

“The DNP program provided me with systems thinking, which helped me think differently about training for our team members,” says Thatcher. “I also appreciate the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Jayne Willis who has first-hand experience in a corporate position as a nurse.”

View all doctoral candidates and their scholarly projects and dissertations here.

Has the UCF College of Nursing Positively Impacted You?

The mission of the College of Nursing at the University of Central Florida is to prepare nurse leaders and patient advocates through excellence in education, research and service.

Find out how to give back to your college, today!

More Stories