Sunday, April 2, 2017

Graduation Speech

On March 30, 2017, I graduated from LPN school at OCM-BOCES in Liverpool, NY. My classmates selected me to give the graduation speech, and I was honored to do so.

I consulted other speeches I found on the Internet for ideas and inspiration. I am posting my speech for the benefit of others who may need some ideas.

What follows is the text of that speech.

Good evening. First I'd like to thank my classmates for choosing me to speak tonight. It's quite an honor.
Today is a momentous day! Almost a year ago, on April 11, more than 25 of us gathered for our first day of LPN school. A number of our classmates dropped out for a variety of reasons. Nineteen of us remain, and here we are!
Other than the first year of motherhood, this has been the most intense 12 months of my life. I felt especially overwhelmed for two reasons—I hadn't been inside a classroom for 30 years and I had no experience in the medical field.
And much like that first year nurturing an infant, nursing school became all consuming. Ms. Badore warned us that life would be put on hold and, except for studying, attending classes and our clinical training, it was; but life always finds a way....
We celebrated births and a marriage. We tended to sick family members. We mourned as loved ones passed away. We missed children's school events, birthdays and other milestones.
Through it all, we learned about each other: why we want to be nurses, our individual plans for the future, who has the cutest dog, cat or guinea pig, that sort of thing.
Graduation marks the end of our time together and the beginning of our nursing careers, after passing our boards, of course. We will be pursuing the most trusted profession in America, as named by Gallup for the 15th straight year.
Remember that as you struggle with working nights, as you tend to patients who are on palliative care, as you feel exhausted, physically and mentally. Everything you do as a nurse matters, and matters deeply. Be proud of that.
I offer huge thanks to our friends and families for their patience and love during this challenging year. Thank you for giving us the space and quiet we needed to study, for understanding when we couldn't attend a family event, for honoring our desire to become nurses.
I offer huge thanks to our instructors for their wisdom and guidance while we learned about and practiced giving a bed bath, administering medications and reporting unusual vital signs, among the myriad skills a nurse must learn.
We wouldn't be here without any of you.
In closing, I wish all the luck to my classmates as they either look for an LPN job or decide to pursue their RN. I am certain all of you will find success. No matter in which direction your career takes you, you will never stop learning.
Consider these words of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing: “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses....we must be learning all of our lives.”
Thank you.