That’s All Folks 

Friday was a momenteous day for me. After 5 and a half years I walked out of the gates at capital university for the last time as a student and it felt so good. As excited as I am for what’s next I can’t believe it’s finally over. 

I thought about doing a sappy Facebook post. But I mean if you are friends with on any form of social media you know how excited I was about this week. However, I was also chosen to give the speech at our pinning ceremony. If I were to thank every single person who helped carry me through nursing school well… it would be novel length. But I do want to share my speech with y’all. Here’s a link to a video and I’ll also post the words to go with it. 

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Hello all and welcome to Capital, and to this pinning ceremony. Before I get started I want to introduce myself. My name is Amber Super and I started here at Capital in Fall 2011. Needless to say, nursing school has been quite the journey, but I know I would not be the woman I am today, and I will be a better nurse for the experience I had here – through chronic migraines, failing and repeating classes, I stand before you today having found a love for emergency medicine and will be starting my career in the emergency department.

As we’ve been approaching this day many people have asked if I ever felt like this day would come. I can honestly say that all us being pinned today will admit there were days, weeks, entire months even where we felt we would make it, that this day would never come. But we did it.

Many of you sitting here today have probably harbored many tear-filled phone calls, and picked up the pieces of our self-esteem and confidence when we felt we had none. On behalf of my classmates and I – thank you. Thank you for picking up the pieces and helping make us whole again. Thank you for your endless support. I hope you know that you won’t go un-needed with the end of school, this is really only the beginning.

Nursing school is a journey. It has been a time of growth, self-discovery, frustration, and joy. But undergrad is only ch 1 of adulthood. So thanks for getting us through the first chapter. I hope you’re ready for what’s next as we transition into the real world.

Many of you may be wondering the importance and significance of the pinning ceremony. It goes back to Florence Nightingale, when nurse training programs were instituted. The pinning ceremony marks the completion of the necessary education to sit for your licensure exam. It signifies we have the knowledge base to be a registered nurse.

As Capital sends us forth this day I hope we always remember our roots. I hope remember to always treat our patients as people, to make self-care a priority, and to carry the lessons we have learned through this university with us.

As nurses we are going to do things we don’t want to do, but we have to remember our job, our normal is our patient’s crisis. We will pass meal trays with smiles on our faces. We will rejoice with patients the first time they get to eat. We will check vital signs, blood sugar, assess and reassess our patients. We will watch for the subtle changes in our patients, and call the doc, advocating for our patient if we see them taking a turn for the worse. We will pass medications and reposition our patients at least 24 times a shift if that’s what they need. We will insert foley’s, empty foley bags, remove foleys. And we will obsess over how much our patients pees and poops and what it looks like, and even what it smells like because we all know a nurse can diagnose c diff with her nose.

We will bathe our patients and wash between their toes. We will hunt lotion, chapstick, and deodorant for our patients, all for the sake of making them a little more comfortable because we know it’s the little things that count the most. We will clean up our patients after they have an accident, and we will do it with grace and little bit of humor, trying to preserve the dignity of our patients.

We will listen with patient ears, say I’m sorry, and I understand, and offer a gentle comforting touch to our patients and their families as they work through their crisis.

And there will be days when the patients we care for will suck the life out of us, where we’ll question why we ever thought nursing was a good idea. Those will be the days we call a friend to vent or maybe those will be days you don’t here from us because we just can’t people that day. But to make up for those hard days, those tough patients there will be patients who are sweet as honey, and say thank you for every little and big thing you do for them. They will be the ones that remind you why you went into nursing.

As we walk out of this university today I hope, I pray we never forget who we are or where we came from. May we never be too big to bring our patient their meal tray, clean up their code brown, or hold their hand while they cry. May we walk today as ready as we can be to enter into the real world of nursing. Thank you again, family and friends for all of your support over this journey, we couldn’t have done it without you. And thank you to the Capital faculty, for the time and energy you invested in teaching us, we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for your willingness to teach us, to meet with us, to guide us through the messiness of these 4 plus years we wouldn’t be standing here today. So here’s to us, we came and we conquered, and our time here is done… finally.

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