Identical Twins and Soon-to-be Nurses ‘Lean on Each Other’
Kerline (left) and Keren Geffrard are among 62 classmates in the second cohort of graduates of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s new second-degree part-time track in the B.S.N. program.
Identical twins Keren and Kerline Geffrard are among 62 classmates who will become nurses today during Florida Atlantic University ’s commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. They are in the second cohort of graduates of FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s new second-degree part-time track in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N .) program designed to address the critical nursing shortage and accommodate working professionals.
Keren and Kerline’s desire to become nurses and to help humanity stems from years of serving as the primary caregiver for their special needs brother, Moise R. Geffrard, 34. Their journey to graduation has been intense, but possible because of the part-time B.S.N. program. Leaning on each other, Keren and Kerline were able to keep their jobs, go to school and provide 24/7 care for Moise.
While studying and working fulltime, Keren and Kerline split their work schedules to care for Moise. Keren works at Broward Health as an assistant director for a resource center for pregnant women 40 hours a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kerline works 12-hour night shifts as a health unit coordinator at Memorial Hospital West three to four days a week.
Kerin and Kerline’s daily care routine for Moise includes helping him with morning showers, brushing his teeth, helping him dress, have breakfast and take his medications. Because he has diabetes, they also check his glucose levels several times a day and monitor him closely throughout the day because he has seizures. In the afternoon, Moise has physical therapy, another shower, lunch, medication and a nap. When he doesn’t feel like listening to the radio, gospel music or books on tape, he keeps company with his sisters as they study. Keren and Kerline typically stay up late at night until schoolwork is completed – sometimes pulling all-nighters to study for exams.
“Moise, who was born blind, is non-verbal, so we have learned to know what he needs. If he needs something, he will come and take one of us by the hand and show us what he needs,” said Keren. “My brother is my inspiration. He has been through a lot but he continues to smile and push through. He also pushes me to work hard to accomplish my goals.”
Keren also has a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in health promotion, maternal and child health and community health. She chose to complete her B.S.N. at FAU to bridge this degree with her background in public health and help patients and their families just as she and Kerline do for their brother. After graduation, Keren plans to apply to a residency program for pediatrics, labor and delivery or women’s health. A lifelong learner, she eventually plans to pursue a Doctorate of Nursing degree.
Kerline also has a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in health promotion and plans to work for Memorial Healthcare Systems’ children’s division after she graduates. She selected her B.S.N. at FAU because nursing has always been a passion, and as a caregiver, she naturally gravitated towards a career in the healthcare field.
“It hasn’t hit me yet that I will be graduating with my B.S.N. and I’m filled with so many emotions. We started the program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and now we’re getting ready to be part of the frontline and essential workers caring for the people living in our community,” said Kerline. “I’m blessed and thankful for being able to get this opportunity to experience and actually get the necessary knowledge to be a competent and safe healthcare provider. I can’t wait to make a difference in my future patients’ lives.”
Located on FAU’s Davie campus, this innovative six-semester B.S.N. track prepares working professionals who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in another discipline, as professional nurses. Course scheduling formats for the program include a live class one evening a week, as well as on weekends, through online courses, and live-streaming delivery course formats. With enrollments during six consecutive semesters, students can complete their B.S.N. degree in two years.
“Keren and Kerline epitomize all of the virtues and selflessness of caregiving and I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments as they begin their new journey in nursing,” said Safiya George, Ph.D., dean, FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “These exceptional students are proof that you can achieve your dreams with hard work and perseverance, and we wish them much success in their future endeavors. On behalf of the entire faculty and staff of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, congratulations to all of our nursing graduates!”