Two years of medical exams, simulations and late-night study sessions are behind them. Now, 41 nursing students who have learned how to take care of others say they’ll have a little more time to care for themselves.
If only briefly.
After graduating from the Holbrook-Huskins nursing program at Mitchell Community College on Wednesday night, many of the graduates are already looking ahead to employment or advanced degrees.
“I’m going to work for a few years and then eventually go for my nurse practitioner (certification),” said graduate Jeremy Funk.
Other graduates talked about the sense of achievement they had in completing a challenging, two-year course that close to one-third of original enrollees didn’t make it through.
“The program was really difficult, but I think at the end of it I’m really proud to come out of it,” Samantha Gatley said. “I think just between clinical experience and class work and simulations, it really helped us get the most out of our time.”
In his speech, class president Travis Wooten joked about exam questions that presented students with four correct answers and asked them to pick the best one.
“I compare it to looking at four oranges and the question is: ‘Which is the most orange?’” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Seven years to the day after Andrea Lima earned her nursing pin from Mitchell, she returned to deliver the commencement address.
Her message to the graduates was to practice self-care, maintain a positive attitude despite the challenges they face and always be professional.
“Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Treat yourself to nice things. Dip your toe in the sand. Go for a walk or a run. Be at your best so you can give your best to your patients,” Lima advised.
Lima also insisted that the budding nurses stay true to their guiding principles.
“Why did you decide to go into this career?” she asked. “If I asked you to remember your motivation that drove you to actually apply for nursing school — remember that. Don’t ever forget that. Let it motivate you and encourage you to be your best while at the bedside and at the examination table.”
» Academic Achievement: Kayla Harris
» Outstanding Clinician: Rachel Marie Nichols
» Best All-Around: Stephanie Nicole Martin
» Professionalism: Amber Nicole Bowman
» The Human Spirit: Logan Payne
» Tenacity: Jeremy Funk
» Excel: Mariah Rachel Duncan
» Beth Main Scholarship: Christopher Reams
» Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society: Kayla Harris
» Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society: Stephanie Nicole Martin and Michaela Alexis Meyer
» Class officers: Travis Wooten, president; Logan Payne, vice president; Julie Wilson, secretary