At each graduation, Nightingale College’s collaborators are almost as excited as the graduates. We love seeing our learners succeeding and achieving what they worked so hard for. The 52 candidates in the Summer 2018 graduating cohort were celebrated starting by the processional, followed by a welcoming speech and the presentation of honors.

 

The valedictorian address was presented by Amanda Derby, who moved to Utah from Texas, temporarily leaving her husband, son and extended family behind to pursue her dreams. Her speech was beautiful and emotional. She shared with us that during her first final, her son passed away suddenly. She didn’t know how she was going to finish the semester or even graduate. But the one thing she knew was that she couldn’t not try. She studied, never stopped trying and never lost hope.

 

Amanda thanked all the families and friends that supported not only her, but all the learners. You can watch Amanda’s full speech here:

 

 

After the valedictorian, Lynda Flynn, one of our area managers, did the reading of the names for the diploma presentation. There were a few whose names were too complicated for Linda to pronounce, so she let the graduates read their own name, giving extra comic relief. Then, collaborators, faculty, friends and family members had the opportunity to see and cheer for every single learner who got their diploma. It was a beautiful moment celebrating the graduates’ success.

 

Following the walk, Patty Ackerman, Lead Faculty of Twin Falls, lead the faculty address, welcoming all the graduates into the ranks of nursing. She also gave the graduates tips for when they work as nurses. Watch the full faculty address here:

 

 

At Nightingale College, we have the tradition “Lamp Lighting” where all the graduates light their Nightingale lamp. Florence Nightingale was known as the “lady with the lamp” for her compassionate late-night rounds around the people that was hurt in the Crimean War. The lighting of the lamp represents Florence Nightingale’s values. Comfort, kindness, gentleness and courage, bravery and devotion to duty. The graduates lit the lamp as a demonstration of Nightingale’s guiding principles: confidence, competence and compassion.

 

All nurses in the audience were invited to stand with the graduates and together repeat the Florence Nightingale Nursing Pledge:

 

“With full knowledge of the responsibilities I am undertaking, I pledge to care for my patients with all of the knowledge, skills, and understanding that I possess, without regard to race, color, creed, politics, or social status.

 

I will spare no effort to conserve meaningful life, to alleviate suffering, and to promote health.

I will refrain from any action which might be harmful to the quality of life or health of those I care for.

 

I will respect, at all times, the dignity and religious beliefs of patients under my care, and hold in professional confidence all the personal information entrusted to me.

 

I will endeavor to keep my professional knowledge and skills at the highest level and give my support and cooperation to all members of the healthcare team.

 

With full awareness of my qualifications and limitations, I will do my utmost to maximize the potential of the nursing profession and to uphold and advance its standards.”

 

Closing remarks were given by Vice-President of Partnerships and Business Development, Jonathan Tanner, who shared some thoughts about success and the importance of communication.

This graduation was extra special because our beloved Director of Nursing Education Services, Susan Jero, got to present the graduating class for her final time, as she is retiring. Our CEO, Mikhail Shneyder prepared a surprise for her that brought tears into our eyes. Shneyder presented the new scholarship Nightingale will now be offering: The Susan J. Jero Resiliency Scholarship. This scholarship will cover the entire cost of tuition for a learner who exemplifies what Susan Jero always has – the ability to overcome, rise up, and be strong. The presentation of the scholarship, as well as Jero’s subsequent induction into the newly created Nightingale Hall of Fame, impacted her greatly. We love you, Ms. Jero!

 

After Jero presented the candidates, Mikhail Shneyder conferred the degrees, and 52 college learners became nurse graduates. We are so proud of these nurses and all they have done to lift themselves and their communities. FLAME FORWARD, NURSES!