IT was truly a momentous occasion for the Spartan Health Science University School of Nursing when the southern institution held its second graduation ceremony last Sunday.
Forty-two students graduated at the glittering ceremony held under the theme, “Nurses: Architects of Change in an Era of Advancing Healthcare”.
The feature address was delivered by Dr. Beverley Anne Lansiquot, Dean of the School of Nursing (University of the Virgins Islands). Dr. Lansiquot, a St. Lucian with a reputation for success, has a wide range of experience in her profession and a commendable academic achievement.
In her inspiring address, she described nursing as an honoured and esteemed profession.
“We are here to celebrate your success to enter this esteem profession. This is just your first phase in your academic preparation. You are now ready for the next phase,” she told the graduating class.
Dr. Lansiquot said the graduates are entering the nursing profession at a time of rapid change in the scientific and technological advancement in nursing, adding that healthcare is one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the economy.
“You may have thought you could put away your books. But the reading goes on. You need to keep abreast with medical and nursing knowledge as the body of knowledge continues to grow,” she said.
She added that information technology is impacting on the work of heath care provider.
“Technological advancement is improving mobility and increase mortality,” she said.
She called on the graduating class to see themselves as agents of change.
“You are now the product of a major change process, although you may not be aware of it. You must take responsibility to be just that. You are responsible for your continual and professional development which will help you to anticipate and respond to the scientific and economic changes,” she said.
Dr. Lansiquot said that to effect such a change, the graduates need to work with their colleagues and collaborate with members of the health team. She added that there is risk being an agent of change.
“You have a voice, use it for the betterment of health and your patients and, of course, the health environment in which you will spend the remaining working years of your life,” she said.
Dr. Lansiquot told the graduating class that as nurses they will need not only take care of the patients, but also themselves because health care begins with them.
“Always remember, the result of work well done may not be recognized at the time. But the impact of a job well conceived and executed stands on its own merit,” she stressed.
In her valedictory address, Tonya Louis, who received seven awards, including the prestigious Dean’s Award in several areas in nursing, thanked the professors for instilling in them the knowledge that has enabled them to reach thus far in their chosen profession.
“You are the candle that light the way for us. You went beyond the call of duty. You set the standard high,” Louis said.
She said that as nurses, they will create an impact in society, adding that they are the voice of the voiceless.
“They are heroes among us. At Spartan Heath Science University, we don’t have to go far for inspiration,” she said.
According to her, their work has just begun and they should not be satisfied with just an associated degree in nursing. She also said the road ahead is daunting but they should not give up and strive for success.
“Believe in yourself and you will achieve your goal. Let’s be the best we can. We have taken the first step, now is time to take the other step,” she told the graduating class.
A number of other students were also awarded for their excellent performances in their exams.