This past week was the culmination of two beautiful behavioral health semesters for me since September, 2014. In total, I worked with 67 women and 12 men - each compassionate, committed and unique in their own right. All 79 will graduate in a few short weeks - new nurses entering the field - an exciting and proud time for them and our profession.
In my final Spring rotation, one young woman touched my heart, initially so insecure...yet quickly blossoming into one of the most intuitive, dedicated and competent students with a heart as big as the sky - one of the leaders in her group, like an Earth Mother. Her name is Brooke.
Arriving at the hospital on our last day, my students were waiting for me with these beautiful coral roses. Brooke who presented them to me on behalf of the group.
On the last day of each rotation, I build in time for final evaluations, where I meet with each student. This is a great opportunity to review progress made during the clinical rotation and opportunities for improvement. I admit that other things have come up in conference - ranging from career advice to issues requiring further referral.
When Brooke came in for her evaluation, she began to tell me of her long journey to get to this point of graduation. I found myself tearing up, right along with this lovely woman. I had no idea what circumstances in her personal life she had encountered in her first experience in nursing school. I saw, before me, a fighter who wanted to be a nurse with all of her heart - someone who was most up for the challenge. .
Her work for me was outstanding in every way. She named a couple instructors, including me, that had been so very kind to her upon her re-entrance to the program. She gave me this beautiful angel - I have named her Brooke and will cherish her always.
I decided to read her card during our conference. I could not believe what I was reading…
After I got home and digested what had happened, I asked Brooke if I could share this moment of coincidence (?) with all of you - this point where I felt I had come full circle in my role as a nursing instructor.
Brooke responded: “You are so welcome. I do not mind if you use me in your blog, hope it will help others see that nothing can stop you if you want it bad enough. Thanks for all you kind words.”
My card from Brooke said the following:
"You have a caring heart and a generous spirit...and I’m so grateful that my life has been touched by both.
I have had many great clinical instructors but there are two who have touched my life in a special way. I first felt this way back in 2008 with my first psych instructor, Alice Brogan, and now again with you.
You both have the most compassion I have ever seen a nurse have for a patient. I admire you both very much and strive to be more understanding of each patient’s situation just like you.
I’m extremely grateful for you entering my life. Thank you for showing me the true definition of a compassionate, caring and loving nurse.
Brooke (Class of 2015)”
Well, imagine the joy I continue to feel knowing that my instructor, and dear friend, Alice Brogan, had left such a lasting impression on my student, Brooke - and that she put us in the same league - wow!
It was great to reconnect Brooke with Alice. Nursing can be a small and supportive circle. To me, this is one of the best examples I can share with you.
I wish Brooke and each and every one of the new graduates of 2015 a fulfilling and amazing career in nursing. We welcome you! We need you! We thank you!
And you know I wouldn’t be me unless I ended this post with a song dedicated to all my students...
Don't stop believing!
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