What to say to graduating nurses?

  1. Hi
    I'm seeking some advice from this wonderfully diverse group. I will be giving the keynote address for the graduating class of a University Nursing school. I have titled my words "Celebration in the Midst of Crisis". Is there anything specific that you veterans would have me say to ENCOURAGE these individuals who are entering our profession (remember they are graduating and are still in their honeymoon period of expectation). thank you for your input.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    minipausing, does the topic have to be "Celebration in the Midst of Crisis"? I mean, have the programs already been printed up?

    I think a better topic would be "A Call To Arms" as per Barbara Rose's thread title. Instead of the usual graduating nurse speech about wonderful profession blah blah caring and compasssion blah blah angels of mercy blah blah, why not get this group of new graduates energized and galvanized to go out and effect change? Urge them to go out and get involved, at the local, state or national level, through ANA or a specialty-specific organization. Encourage them to be vocal and visible, to take control of their new professions, as well as their working conditions, scope and quality of their practice, and the public's perception of nursing. Inspire them to not allow themselves to be "eaten" by burned-out veteran nurses and to support each other rather than become nurse-eaters to the next generation. Push them to take all of their fresh energy and enthusiasm and idealism and use it for the betterment of nursing and of patient care. Fire 'em up and let 'em go! Good luck!

    [ May 16, 2001: Message edited by: Stargazer ]
  4. by   minipausing
    Thanks so much for the reply-No angels of mercy speeches here. Have included all your suggestions...I used CELEBRATE because we just had our "Celebrate Nursing" event in the city honoring top 100 nurses-I used it as an acronym with each letter exhorting them to get involved in the profession-esp the need to be involved in our professional organization-Any comments
    C-self-Control
    E-Exhort your colleagues
    L-Love the profession with passion
    E-Evaluate your role within the profession
    B-Be involved in your professional org
    R-Rejoice & Laugh alot
    A-Associate yourself with colleagues who are
    positive and making a difference & be
    an Advocate for your patients
    T-Take charge of your future
    E-Educate yourself on nursing roles and
    opportunities.

    Anything you can add to "spruce up" the exhortations? Tks so much for taking the time to respond! diane
  5. by   sharann
    Tell them "Welcome"
    Keep the speech positive though realistic.
    I like the title.It rings true.
    If you can,include the fact that given this "crisis",the are hot commodities and there are experiences open to them that wouldn't otherwise be.Good luck on the speech!What an honor.
  6. by   Overland1
    Originally posted by sharann:
    <STRONG>Tell them "Welcome"
    Keep the speech positive though realistic.
    I like the title.It rings true.
    If you can,include the fact that given this "crisis",the are hot commodities and there are experiences open to them that wouldn't otherwise be.Good luck on the speech!What an honor.</STRONG>
    I agree... keep it positive, smile a lot, and maintain eye contact as you address the audience. Explain that a really good nurse can enjoy a rewarding career.

    I would personally avoid encouraging such topics as the ANA, and similar things. These are new nurses who need to see what is out there and may, like most of us, choose not to support largely political organizations such as the ANA. Explain that they can make a greater positive difference by learning as much as they can, providing excellent patient care, and presenting themselves as sincere and positive role models for those who follow them.
  7. by   imaRN
    Minipausing,
    (love the name) Tell your grads. That they will experience more emotions than they thought ever possible in the first 6 months!That they will develop a "new" sense of humor and it is possible to laugh/cry and start an I.V. all at the same time. They will have the "Best Stories" at the supper table, and they will wonder why their friends have such "boring jobs" Tell them that they are now part of the "Most Trusted Profession", and patients will depend on them for their lives! And tell them about www.allnurses.com so they too can keep in touch, with the real heartbeat in nursing!! Tell them to above all: TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS!! ...Hope you have a great day!..imaRN
  8. by   -jt
    I vote for that one up there "A call to arms"
    very noble & pro-active! I like it.


    ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN, continued to share that message with consumers in an op-ed on MSNBC.com re: the nursing shortage:

    "The ANA and nurses across the country are applauding legislation that could make a difference. The recently introduced Nurses Reinvestment Act and the Nursing Education and Employment Development Act are aimed at alleviating the growing nursing shortage of nurses in the United States. These bills
    seek to put more nurses at the bedside through a combination of scholarships, loan repayments and innovative recruitment techniques designed to prompt young people to choose nursing as a career as well as to encourage existing nurses to increase their levels of education.........
    But thats only half the story. Legislation is also being introduced that focuses on major safety, quality and workforce issues for nurses and their patients. The Patient Safety Act, when passed, will require health care institutions to make public, among other things, the number of registered nurses providing direct patient care, the number of unlicensed personnel being used to provide direct patient care, the average number
    of patients per registered nurse, patient mortality rates, and the incidence of adverse patient incidents.
    It also will provide protections for nurses who blow the whistle on unsafe care practices at their facilities. In addition, ANA is working with members of Congress to develop other measures to attack these workplace problems, including mandatory overtime, head on......
    Tell your representatives in your state legislatures and in Congress that you want legislation passed that addresses the inadequate staffing and mandatory overtime that jeopardize your safety in the health care system and legislation that encourages people from all walks of life and backgrounds to join the ranks of one of the most honorable professions around.
    On every unit and in every setting across the country, nurses make a difference daily in the lives of patients. Help us make sure they are still there in the future to make that difference."

    for the full text, go to http://www.msnbc.com/news/571673.asp
  9. by   -jt
    there were some ideas for in that letter to make them aware of- including the last paragraph which I thought was very nicely said. she could do whatever she wanted wwith it & put it however she wanted or not use it at all. its was just a thought. YOU are the one turning this into a pro-con thing. I have never asked for yours or anyone elses apology for anything. I did nothing wrong. She asked for comments. I gave mine along with everyone else. Too bad they werent to your liking. Get over it. Maybe YOU should apologize to her for what you just turned her thread into.
  10. by   -jt
    "Encourage them to be vocal and visible, to take control of their new professions, as well as their working conditions, scope and quality of their practice, and the public's perception of nursing. Inspire them to not allow themselves to be "eaten" by burned-out veteran nurses and to support each other rather than become nurse-eaters to the next generation. Push them to take all of their fresh energy and enthusiasm and idealism and use it for the betterment of nursing and of patient care. Fire 'em up and let 'em go!"


    D I T T O!!!!!!!!!
  11. by   minipausing
    Thanks to everyone who responded-I was very pleased that you were willing to take the time to post. I was even more thrilled to note that I have covered much of what you have suggested in some way-a couple of your comments I would like to read at the graduation. Best wishes to all!

    (Tks for the comment about my log-in name: appropriate to the time of life and to my research)
  12. by   PreemieRN
    Hi. What a wonderful opportunity you have to encourage and motivate a group of new nurses! Tell them that they have chosen a most demanding and rewarding profession that will bring them into contact with thousands of people. The things we do on the job will effect these people for the rest of their lives, either positively or negatively. We can help people be healthier, have less pain, deal with life and death, recover from a variety of illnesses, and teach them to deal with chronic long term illnesses in a way that will allow them to have a good life. They will get dirty, tired, discouraged, and every once in awhile moved to tears. Nursing is not only a profession, but a higher calling. Just my 2cents.

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