Laurie Robinson of Pittsfield “enjoyed every minute” of her time in the Elms College RN-BS degree-completion program for registered nurses within Berkshire Health Systems (BHS), graduating in May with a 4.0 GPA and a plan to pursue her master’s degree in nursing education.

Laurie Robinson
Laurie Robinson '15 celebrates after receiving her BS in nursing at Commencement 2015.

Berkshire RN-BS Grad Attributes Success to Community of Nurses 

Laurie Robinson of Pittsfield “enjoyed every minute” of her time in the Elms College RN-BS degree-completion program for registered nurses within Berkshire Health Systems (BHS), graduating in May 2015 with a 4.0 GPA and a plan to pursue her master’s degree in nursing education.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that we were afforded,” she said of the program, offered onsite at the Hillcrest Campus of Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) exclusively to advance the education levels of registered nurses at BHS.

Laurie, a 20-year BMC veteran, works on the surgical floor (med/surg) as a staff nurse and also works in the hospital’s education department, teaching new nursing hires how to use the computer system before they start working.

“I would like to get my master’s so that I could continue to educate other nurses,” she said.

During the 2015 Honors Convocation, she was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Sigma, Alpha Sigma Lambda and Sigma Theta Tau honor societies. At the RN-BS pinning ceremony at the Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield in May, Laurie received the Sr. Nora Harrington Nurse Scholar Program. The program -- named after the founder of the Elms College nursing program -- is designed to, among other things, nurture the development of future leaders and prepare gifted students for graduate studies.

Laurie was also one of two Berkshire campus recipients of the Award of Distinction. This award is given to a graduating RN-BS student who has shown significant personal growth and development, has made important contributions to classes, has supported others, and is recognized by classmates as having the potential to make a significant contribution to the nursing profession.

“Laurie is always prepared and strives for excellence, and her contributions to class are insightful and thoughtful,” said Director of R.N. Studies Suzanne Barenski, Ph.D., R.N., in presenting the award.

Laurie insists her success was a team effort. “I couldn’t have done it without my classmates, truly,” she said. “We started out as individuals, but by the end of this we were a team.”

The best part of the two-year program, Laurie said, was her cohort. “[It was] a really good mix of people: some from med/surg, some from management, some new nurses, some old nurses,” she said. “What a great way to put it together as a community.”