DHMC Nurse Receives Surprise Diploma Delivery

Katie Smith with diploma

Nurses are the backbone of our institution, and Katie is no exception.

Karen Clements, BSN, RN, FACHE, D-H chief nursing officer

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) recently hosted a graduation celebration during National Nurses Week for one of its own nurses who recently earned a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

Katie Smith, MSN, RN, an antibiotic nurse specialist in Infectious Disease and International Health at DHMC, completed Clinical Nurse Leader Masters in Science degree at SNHU. To celebrate her accomplishment and show appreciation for her efforts as a frontline worker during the pandemic, Smith was surprised with a diploma delivery from SNHU.

“Nurses are the backbone of our institution, and Katie is no exception,” said Dartmouth-Hitchcock Chief Nursing Officer Karen Clements, BSN, RN, FACHE, who presented Smith her diploma at the DHMC campus. “For her to change positions to join our Infectious Disease Clinic in the middle of a global pandemic, continue her studies to grow as a nurse leader and never cease to provide outstanding care to her patients demonstrates how our nurses go above and beyond each day.”

Colleagues and supervisors of Smith and SNHU faculty and staff attended the celebration in person and virtually. 

“For Katie to pursue her degree and finish it in the midst of a global pandemic really speaks to her grit and perseverance as a student and dedicated nurse,” said Kristi Durette, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement at SNHU. 

“This was definitely more than I expected for a graduation during a pandemic,” said Smith. “My superiors and colleagues at DHMC and my instructors and advisor at SNHU helped me to persevere through work, school and the pandemic, even when things got hard, and to finish strong. I’m definitely not the same nurse I was when I started, and I am excited to see where this next chapter of my career with DHMC takes me.”