Proud Parent Moment: UJ Celebrates New Nursing Class

Jan 24, 2024
By Natalie McKenna


  • Nursing
2024 Nursing Ceremony

The University of Jamestown Nursing Department welcomed new students into the program during their sophomore nursing induction ceremony on January 11, 2024, in the DeNault Auditorium.

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — The University of Jamestown Nursing Department celebrated their new nursing class by welcoming students into the program during an induction ceremony on January 11, 2024, in the DeNault Auditorium.

To be inducted into the University’s nursing program, a student must be of sophomore or higher status, successfully complete nursing pre-requisite courses, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher. Students with a CGPA between 2.85 and 3.1 are required to take the TEAS exam to be considered for acceptance into the nursing program.

“During the induction ceremony, students are formally admitted into the program. It’s like a rite of passage. Our students have proven that they can handle the courseload,” said Nursing Department Chair and Associate Professor Dr. Kim Ash. “We celebrate their achievements and welcome them into the program, showing them that they are supported on their journey into this profession.”

16 new students inducted into the UJ Nursing Program.

Home to the first nursing program in the state of North Dakota, University of Jamestown has a rich history of training successful nurses. Assistant Professor Sheri Gunderson highlighted this history while welcoming the nursing class of 2026.

“These students will carry on the tradition that began in 1947 when the Jamestown Hospital School of Nursing, now University of Jamestown…welcomed their first class of nursing students,” she said, speaking to the new nursing students. “This is part of a tradition you are carrying on as a UJ nursing student. We are so proud of you. You have already proven yourself worthy to be in this nursing class.”

Among the family, friends, current nursing students and faculty who attended the ceremony was the UJ men’s volleyball team.

Student being welcomed in the Nursing Department.

Coach Travers Cox rearranged the team’s practice schedule so they could come and support their teammate Kingsley Umoelin as he was inducted,” said Dr. Ash. “That speaks volumes not only to their team, but also to our department’s commitment to encouraging students to stay involved in athletics and other organizations.”

Dr. Ash went on to explain that at universities across the country, students are typically not allowed to participate in sports while pursuing a nursing education.

“Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are known for being all-consuming,” said Dr. Ash. “That’s not the case at UJ. While our curriculum is rigorous, we believe students can and should participate in the activities they love while earning their nursing degree.”

During the 2022-23 fiscal and academic year, the department proved their students could live up to the demands of a rigorous nursing curriculum. Students in the program achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination—well above the national average of 83.19 percent.

Also included in the ceremony was the presentation of the 2024 UJ Nursing Excellence Award, given to an outstanding nursing alumnus.

Nursing Faculty presenting award to Alisha Sandidge-Renteria.This year, the award was presented to Alisha Sandidge-Renteria, a 2011 graduate of the program. Sandidge-Renteria, a resident of Visalia, California, is a Family Nurse Practitioner Nurse at River Way Medical Care. Her research and practice interests include early recognition of clinical deterioration, safe enteral nutrition practices, missed nursing care opportunities, and prevention of hospital and community-acquired conditions through fundamental nursing care.

Sandidge-Renteria is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, served as the President of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses for the Central Valley Chapter, and is a published author.

New Nursing students seated on stage during ceremony.While bestowing advice upon the new members of UJ’s nursing program, she said, “I am elated to accept this gracious recognition. I’d like to recognize the incredible University of Jamestown, specifically the leaders of this prestigious and respected nursing department. I’m very proud to call University of Jamestown my alma mater.”

More information about what it is like to be a nursing student at University of Jamestown can be found at


About University of Jamestown
University of Jamestown is ranked as a “Best Regional University” in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. Established as Jamestown College in 1883, UJ is a private, Christian, liberal arts university granting Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees as well as master’s degrees in Business, Education, Leadership, and Clinical Counseling. Doctoral degrees are available in Physical Therapy and Clinical Research. University of Jamestown Accelerated, UJ’s online division, is based in Phoenix and delivers intensive upskilling opportunities to learners in a variety of settings. For more information, please visit

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