Spoken from the heart

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If you’ve been following these last few weeks, you know that I’ve been planning my class pinning ceremony like crazy. We’ve all been working at it for months and now it’s time. As class co-president, I have the honor of speaking in front of all 450 of our guests! AT first I didn’t know what to say. I put off writing it for days and days, mulling it over in my mind, until finally, I sat down and got it all out. Everything came straight from the heart, and while you may not understand all the inside jokes about my class, or the details of my family life, I hope that from this nursing student to you, you will understand that it all came from the fuzzy place inside where there will always be a special place for nursing school. So, without further adieu, here’s my class speech!

“For those of you who don’t know, two quarters ago I downloaded a “countdown” app on my phone. The countdown to our graduation started with 156 days to go and everyone was calling me crazy. Last week, when there were just 8 days left on the countdown, we had out last class.  Our faculty members brought in a cake and joined us for a final mini-celebration. Dr. _____ was there and she got up to speak to our class and I had this flashback.  I flashed to the day I broke down into tears of joy on my front porch when I opened my acceptance letter into the school of nursing. Then another flash: remember our orientation day? We only knew one or two people, if that. We sat in the big lecture room and learned all about what we were getting ourselves into. It was exciting, a little scary, a little confusing, and then Dr. ____ spoke. She told us to look around. She said to look around at everyone in the room. She said that these would be the people that would understand you for the next three years. The one’s who will study with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and help you through. As we looked around she told us that we would be the nurses of the future and to be proud of the choices we’d made that helped us choose this honorable profession.  Flash forward to our last day of class and there we were. We did it.

Take a moment to look around you right now. We did it together. We sat through hours of lectures together, we had lunches together, coffee breaks together, and spent long days studying together for ALL those finals! We complained together, cried together, spent nervous clinical mornings together, and we laughed together as we walked back to our cars together at the end of the day. We’ve been to the beach, played freeze tag, worked out, and played basketball and softball together. And here we are.

While you’re looking around the room, I want to say thank you to all the parents, siblings, spouses, partners, fiancés, boyfriends, girlfriends, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and everyone I missed – you were our support system outside of this craziness called nursing school.  You may not have been in class with us, and you may not have wanted to hear our stories at the dinner table about the first time we gave a shot or our first Foley insertion, and definitely not about the inevitable “code browns,” but you listened anyway. You were there to celebrate with us after we finished finals, and you were our shoulder to cry on when we had a total melt down after clinical. And just when we thought the end would never come, here we are.

So look around. Three years ago we saw the nurses of the future. We saw a long list of classes we couldn’t comprehend finishing. We had questions, we were anxious, we didn’t quite know what to expect. But we also had a calling. We were passionate about helping others, and healing the sick. With the help of our instructors, we grew to understand nursing and what being a good bedside nurse truly means. As you look around, I hope you see that same passion and compassion in each other that I’ve seen in each of you these last three years, and I hope that desire to help others and that love for the nursing profession stays with you as you go out into the working world.  Congratulations you guys — we did it!!! “

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