Thursday, December 11, 2008

Graduation Day

Tomorrow I won't be wearing a mortarboard, but I will be wearing a smart little nursing dress and marching across stage to get my hat and nursing pin. Wow.

Somehow I managed to agree to give the student address at the ceremony. Sort of like valedictorian speech, but I'm not calling it that.

Want to read my speech?

"Standing on this stage today represents the end of a journey for us. My personal journey began more than six years ago when I decided to become a nurse. It took me a long time to discover what I wanted to do with my life. One day, after listening to me recount a particularly grueling and unfulfilling day of work, my ever-patient husband challenged me to choose my dream career, without consideration to educational requirements or job options. Without really thinking about it, I said I wanted to be a nurse. It was not something I’d ever considered, but once I said those words I understood that it was the perfect job for me. And the decision was made. I was to become a nurse.

Three years, three months, eights days, and about 4 hours ago (not that I was keeping track) I attended orientation in a small classroom in the Health Studies wing at this college, with this group of individuals sitting before you. I was more than a little nervous and somewhat confused and terrified. Plus, I was sure I’d be the oldest person in the room. However, I quickly learned that despite differences in ages and backgrounds, we were united in our desire to make a difference in the world, to become nurses.

In the months and years following that day, we were completely immersed in our clinical rotations, exams, lectures, term papers, and group projects. We quickly learned that nursing school consumed our thoughts and time. But we were in it together. We cried together and laughed together—both equally unforgettable. When we got together as a group, our conversations revolved largely around school and school-related activities. Our friendships sustained us through the long hours of preparing for exams and endless term papers and group projects. In one of my earliest clinical experiences, a staff member asked us how long we’d all been friends, because we’d obviously worked together for a long time. She was surprised to discover that this was our first time working as a group. And that’s the way it’s been throughout. In every situation, good and bad, there has always been room for laughter.

And here we are today, finally finished with this program. I’m looking forward to a new journey as a nurse, as I’m sure we all are, but now that I’m here, I find myself feeling slightly saddened at the loss of my student identity, at not seeing my school friends everyday. However, I am confident that the friendships I’ve made are forever. I am so proud to be associated with this incredible group of new nurses.

Congratulations to you all and the best of luck in your careers."


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to add my congratulations..job well done!!! I'm extra proud of you girls who do a degree against all odds - way to go!!! p.s. nice little speech, too!
xoxo the fan

3rdEyeMuse said...

there are going to be a lot of tears shed after that lovely speech ... Congratulations & have a fantastic graduation!

MJ said...

Congrats! Great speech too!

The one thing I envy of those who have attended nursing and education is the friendships that women have nurtured within those colleges. My law school class started out with 117 students of which 36% were women in the first year and the women reduced in number each year thereafter. Reading your speech reminded me of those connections. Lucky you! I'm sure you have made some life-long friends who may be co-workers too!

Good luck on your nursing journey ahead!

calicodaisy said...

That's a wonderful speech. I hope you have a great day tomorrow and a very fulfilling nursing career.
-- Michele

Jillian said...

Super speech! Bravo Bravo! Encore!

And a BIG CONGRATS to you for this wonderful achievement.

You can be proud.

Jillian

Shana said...

Bravo! and Congratulations!

sassy studio said...

Great speech OR! Have a great day tomorrow!

Saucy said...

Congratulations! Have a wonderful graduation day. I think you wrote a great speech and I will call it a valedictory address, even if you don't, okay?

Oh, and we want pics of you in your uniform and pin!

Tara said...

Great speech, great accomplishment!

karen said...

What a great achievement - heartfelt congratulations