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UNF nursing student honored in graduation ceremony while volunteering at COVID-19 field hospital

May 12, 2020

Julie Willingham being hooded with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice by Dr. Kemplin


UNF Doctor of Nursing Practice student Julie Willingham answered the call to volunteer her time and skills at the Ryan Larkin New York Presbyterian Field Hospital, a 220-bed COVID-19 facility housed at Columbia University’s athletic dome. Willingham, along with fourteen other volunteers, were scheduled to receive their master's and doctoral degrees at various universities around the nation during the first week of May, so chief nursing officer and deputy director Dr. Kate Kemplin arranged a celebratory ceremony for the hardworking graduates.

The students were honored publicly by fellow field hospital staff and members of the surrounding neighborhood in a socially distanced ceremony. As part of the graduation ceremony, Willingham was hooded with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice by Dr. Kemplin.

Although Willingham and her fellow volunteers were unable to celebrate their graduation in a “traditional” way, their commitment to the community and wellbeing of others provides a ray of hope and inspiration during these unprecedented times. Congratulations to all, especially fellow Osprey, Dr. Julie Willingham. SWOOP!


Members of neighborhood cheering for graduates outside the facility