A New Cohort of LAU Nurses Pledges to Lead With Compassion

Graduates of the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing were encouraged to drive healthcare recovery, seek excellence and embrace lifelong learning.

By Raissa Batakji

The graduates were urged to “seize every opportunity to highlight how important you are to improving equity, the standards of healthcare, the social determinants of health and people’s wellbeing.”

Against the backdrop of a severe shortage of nurses in Lebanon, compounded by the ongoing economic crisis, the Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing recognized its 52 graduates at the Nursing Recognition and Pinning Ceremony on May 30 on the Byblos campus, signaling hope for a brighter future in healthcare.

With a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1.8 to 1,000, Lebanon suffers a critical shortage when compared to the global average of 3.28 to 1,000, according to the Lebanese Order of Nurses. This disparity, said Nursing Program Director Bahia Abdallah, highlights the urgent need for strategic investments in the nursing workforce. “Investing in nurses is not just a health imperative but an economic one,” she added.

Dr. Abdallah urged the graduates to “seize every opportunity to highlight how important you are to improving equity, the standards of healthcare, the social determinants of health and people’s wellbeing.”


LAU President Michel E. Mawad noted how their professional identity must have three core components: “A state-of-the-art technical core, personal and professional integrity above reproach and commitment to selfless service under any and all conditions.”  He advised them to practice their profession with compassion and to pursue constant upskilling and an openness to new knowledge.


On that score, Interim Dean Costantine Daher noted that the pin the graduates received at the ceremony constitutes “a reminder of the values that underpin the nursing profession: compassion, empathy, integrity, and excellence. Nursing is more than a career— it is a calling.”


The ceremony featured a keynote speech by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Acting Representative in Lebanon Abdinasir Abubakar, who expounded on the essential role of nurses within the healthcare system. He also commended LAU and the school for striving to counter nursing shortages.


“Nursing schools, like LAU’s, are autonomous, professional and proactive in supporting collaborations in the community, and in contributing through research and evidence-based decision-making,” said Dr. Abubakar, who was pleased to hear about the strides the university is making toward achieving the SDGs.

Those efforts were encapsulated in the class speaker Samia Itani’s address. To animated applause and cheers from her colleagues, she named the school’s dean, director, faculty and staff in a long list of individual tributes, while reminiscing on lifelong memories with her friends and colleagues, whom she described as a second family.

“The last three years at the school proved to be a testament to faculty members’ unwavering dedication, as they armed us with knowledge and expertise, honed our abilities, taught us skills we did not know we could have and shaped us into well-rounded professional nurses,” she said.


At the ceremony, LAU presented trophies of appreciation to Dr. Abubakar and Mrs. Dima Zayat, deputy country director for the American Near-East Refugee Aid (ANERA), in recognition of ANERA’s support to the school.



The nursing class of 2024 recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge and individually received the pins at the ceremony, much to the pride and joy of family and friends in attendance.

Three students were presented with awards in recognition of their achievements.

Maria Abou Nader received the Dean’s Award for Clinical Excellence, presented to a junior student for demonstrating compassion toward the nursing profession and promoting LAU’s image through service activities.

Ahmad Mneimneh was given the Dean’s Inspirational Award, in recognition of his dedication to the profession and outstanding voluntary work in the community, while Yasin Jazieh received the Dean’s Research Award for his potential to contribute to nursing research.

Nursing student Sally Abu El Ezz was also acknowledged by the Beirut Lions Club for promoting the image of a professional nurse as a student and being a leader in the university and the community.