Nursing friendship turns into two doctoral degrees

October 30, 2019 / by / 1 Comment
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By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau

Ten years ago, Dr. Viola Pierce and Dr. Brittany Bass started a friendship that changed the course of their lives for the better.

Dr. Brittany Bass (left) and Dr. Viola Pierce graduated together at GCU’s Fall Commencement ceremony.

Earlier this month, the pair traveled from North Carolina to graduate with their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees at Grand Canyon University’s Fall Commencement ceremony. Pierce, who has been in the nursing field for 27 years, met Bass after she had asked Pierce to precept her as a new nursing graduate.

“As a new graduate nurse back in 2009, I saw Viola and I saw her engagement with patients on the floor and said, ‘I want to be like her, I want to be like Dr. Viola Pierce,” Bass said. “She took me under her wing.”

Bass would get her master’s degree online through GCU, at the recommendation of a peer, and Pierce earned her master’s degree from ECPI University shortly after. The pair grew closer as they worked together, so when both decided to pursue their doctoral degrees it was only natural that they do it together.

“We went through the entire program together, so this is special for us and I love her dearly,” Pierce said.

Pierce plans to use her new doctoral degree to benefit her nonprofit, Nurse Nurturer, and her for-profit, VP Nursing, and help nurses who are struggling with things in their life. Bass will develop a nursing program at North Carolina Wesleyan College, where she is the director of the new program.

The pair’s families came out to witness their loved ones’ achievements, and Pierce’s mother could not attend the ceremony but spent her 89th birthday watching her daughter receive her doctoral degree via live stream.

Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or ashlee.larrison@gcu.edu

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Related content:

GCU Today: My LopeLife: Tales of doctoral, nursing challenges

GCU Today: Slideshow: Fall Commencement, Friday morning ceremony


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One Response
  1. Tamera Williams

    Congratulations Doctor’s! Proud of yawl! :-)

    Oct.30.2019 at 2:35 pm
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