Registered nurses achieve advanced degrees

As the graduation march “Pomp and Circumstance” began to play at the Save Mart Center on April 21, a flood of emotions went through Tina Gulbronsen.

“It was surreal,” said Gulbronsen, Community Regional Medical Center’s director of nursing administration. “I saw the bachelor of nursing flag bearer walking down the aisle to lead us and it was amazing.”

Community Regional's registered nurses Lisa Scalzo, Suzanne Manning, Sharon James, Tina Gulbronsen, Debbie Lopez and Dayna Saunders all graduated with their BSN degrees.

Gulbronsen and five other Community Regional registered nurses (RN) received their bachelor of nursing science degree from University of Phoenix. Gulbronsen said because they are in supervisory positions, “We think it’s important to strive for advanced degrees.”

Hospital house supervisor Dayna Saunders said she’s wanted to accomplish this goal since 1993.

“I want to thank my bosses and colleagues at Community Regional and especially my family for supporting me through this journey where I am today,” she said.

Both Gulbronsen and house supervisor Sharon James echoed Saunders’ statement.  Both said they couldn’t have done it without the support of their families – the ones at home as well as their Community Medical Centers’ family.  Seeing their spouses and children in the stands as they marched to receive their degrees was an added reward.

James says going back for her BSN degree also brought the colleagues closer together after attending class at night over the last 18 months.

“We had a group of nurses who agreed to support and encourage each other during this great endeavor,” James said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished a high honor in education.”

Gulbronsen said Community Regional RN colleagues who also received their BSN from University of Phoenix are Lisa Scalzo, (ICU), Suzanne Manning (clinical supervisor, 5-West) and Debbie Lopez (5-Central).

Mary Lisa Russell reported this story. She can be reached at