ok, so pinning is this week.... i am giving the speech... ive been working on it for weeks. i am happy with the way it looks right now. i am blanking out all the names incase one of my classmates is reading this board.... i want it to be a surprise! ive been practicing reading it out loud and i cant get through it without crying. but will you guys please tell me what you think??? dr. ******, mrs. ****, ms. *******, nursing faculty, family, friends and of course my fellow graduate nurses, it is my absolute honor to stand here before you today. eight years ago, i was a troublemaker. i was a high-school drop-out serving country fried steaks at cracker barrel. i had lost hope in myself and my future. today, i have made it farther than i have ever imagined. little by little, i have climbed my way back onto the path of following my dreams to becoming a trauma nurse. god has truly blessed the broken road that has led me to this day. i proudly give this speech to you as valedictorian and class president of the graduating practical nursing class of 2008. before i continue with my speech, i have two special items of business. first, the class of ***** would like to extend their sincerest thanks to ******* baptist church for welcoming us into their beautiful church and sharing our pinning ceremony with us. would a member of the ******* baptist staff please accept this donation on behalf of the class of ******? in planning our pinning, we as a class wanted to start a tradition that would touch the lives of another student on their journey to become a nurse. it is our hope that a tradition of a scholarship, from the graduating class an outstanding student or students in the new senior class will continue in memory of the class of *******. in choosing our scholarship recipients, the choice was very difficult. we wish all of the ********* the best of luck in their education and future careers are nurses and wish we could have given them each a scholarship. but out of nine exceptional students, the evening nursing faculty chose two students who have shown outstanding leadership and perserverance in fulfilling their dreams of being a nurse in the face of adversity. these two students will each receive a $150 award on behalf of the class of ****** to help them as they enter their final three terms of nursing school. it is my pleasure and honor to present these awards to mrs. ****** ******* and mrs. ****** *******. would ****** and ****** please come up and accept these awards? eighteen months ago, a group of strangers walked through the doors of ****. within that group, an emergency medical technician, a staff supervisor, a medical assistant, a mechanic, a stay at home mommy, a certified nurse’s aide, an enterpreneur, a paralegal and a map maker. for whatever reason, on that day in april, a group of mismatched strangers came together to better and change their lives. today, that group of same strangers stands before you as graduate nurses. to my classmates, i challenge you to embrace the future with open arms. the future belongs to those who truly believe in their dreams. today, we have made those dreams a reality. we are armed with the education, the friends and family, and the ambition to materialize our dreams. let this be the stepping stone for each one of us on our journey. with each new day, opportunities will present themselves. be happy with who you are today- but never stop imagining who you could be tomorrow. care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible. there is no need to reach high for the stars…. if we look deep inside ourselves, we will find that the stars are already within us. as nurses, each day we will touch a life, or be touched by a life. we have chosen a professional of exceptional work…. nurses are angels here on earth. over these past eighteen months, we have learned and grown so much, as students and as individuals. we have learned about how to care for adults and children, diseases, medications, care planning, leadership, anatomy, physiology and human development. but being a nurse is so much more than school. no class can teach you how to cry with a patient. no class can teach you how to tell someone their parent, spouse or child has died. no professor can teach you how to find dignity in a bed bath. being a nurse is not about the pills, the iv’s, and the charting. it’s about being able to love people when they are at their worst moments and being able to forgive them for all their wrongs and making a difference in their lives. no one can make you a nurse… you just are. we have each learned so much from each other. from ******, i learned that a red light doesn’t always mean stop and that people in the appalachians wiggle instead of dance. from *****, i learned that you can find hello kitty on just about any item you will ever need. from ******, i learned that you can never have too many peanuts or too many oysters. from ******, i’ve learned the meaning of “shug”. from ****, i’ve learned the importance of cutting my nails before clinical. from ********, i have learned that target is the happiest place on earth and that girls from johnston county really do have more fun. together we’ve laughed. together we’ve cried. there have been days we have wished to be over sooner, and days we wished never begun in the first place. we’ve celebrated birthdays, christmas, thanksgiving and easter together. we’ve scarfed down fast food in the lunch room while discussing subjects that might make an outsider nauseated. we’ve changed more flat tires than we can count. we have had babies. we have lost loved ones. we’ve endured long nights of studying and writing care plans only to wake up to a saturday morning test. we have spent long days at work only to spend long nights at clinical. we’ve fussed at each other like brothers and sisters. we have had the best of times and the worst of times together. but most importantly, together, we made it. i have never been more proud of myself or the fourteen members of my school family that walked into my heart eighteen months ago. this is our day. it is the day we have been working so diligently towards. because today, my friends and my classmates, we did it. today, we are graduate nurses.