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WATCH: Graduate School of Nursing student Ezequiel De Leon seeks to care for vulnerable population

Pinning Ceremony for Graduate Entry Pathway program is Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.

By Bryan Goodchild and Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

September 09, 2019

For Ezequiel De Leon, it was never a question of whether he would enter the medical field, it was which role would best fit. De Leon resolved his dilemma when he joined the Graduate School of Nursing Graduate Entry Pathway program and took his first steps toward earning a doctor of nursing practice with a focus on adult gerontology primary care.

“When it came time for me to decide what to do with my life, become a doctor, MD, PhD, DO, I stumbled upon the nurse practitioner profession. I was really awestruck by the focus they have on population health and leadership,” he said.

On Monday, Sept. 9, De Leon and his classmates will be recognized during the GSN Pinning Ceremony at 6 p.m. in the Albert Sherman Center Auditorium. In the presence of family, guests and faculty, students in the GEP program will be ceremonially presented with their nursing pins and formally welcomed into the nursing community.

De Leon, who will serve as class speaker at the ceremony, immigrated from the Dominican Republic to Massachusetts with his family as a child. He said he had strong mentors and a loving mother throughout his education to help guide and support him.

“I chose the GSN largely because I felt it had a focus on leadership and clinical expertise, and those two facets together really interested me,” he said, adding that he was also confident in the mentorship he would receive. “Being an immigrant and having overcome a lot of adversity, the nurse practitioner profession really spoke to me directly on how I could give back and I valued that.”

He decided to concentrate on the adult geriatric population after witnessing adults in his own family hesitate to seek preventive care.

“I wanted to know how to support the vulnerable population of adults who often get marginalized and left out,” he said.

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