Two qualities every nurse needs

Today I volunteered to help out at the senior class pinning ceremony. It’s hard to believe that the upperclassmen that lead our orientation two years ago are now heading out into the real world to become actual, shot-giving, trach-suctioning, care-giving, working nurses! And even harder to believe is that it will be my class going through the same traditional ceremony in just one year!
I had never been to a pinning ceremony before, so it was a completely new experience for me. The class-officer side of me was taking notes about how to plan our pinning ceremony. What works, what doesn’t, and what to do to make our ceremony stand out.

But my wide-eyed side that loves nursing traditions that links us to history was inspired (yet again). The pins, the candle lighting, and the nightingale pledge all gave me that transcendent feeling of connectedness to history and to nursing. But even beyond the traditions and celebratory happiness, I was especially moved by the wise words of our faculty members.

They’re the ones who assign all those tests and care plans, the ones who keep us studying hard on weekends, but their intentions are good. In each group of new graduates they see a new beginning in the nursing profession. One professor spoke of the two qualities she hoped the graduates would always carry with them.

Passion and compassion. These qualities led each one of us to nursing school, and I think that without them we wouldn’t survive the rollercoaster ride that clinicals and theory take us on every session.  But if we, as students, can hold on to these qualities despite the difficulties and through the triumphs, we leave nursing school with the world at our doorstep.

Passion and compassion are what drive us as nurses, what keep us persevering and helping. They are the qualities that separate us from other professions, and these traits that keep us motivated to help others.

To all the graduates – to all the new nurses of Spring 2010 – CONGRATULATIONS!

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