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May is always a bitter sweet month for me. The sweet part is watching the nursing graduates walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, on their way to either launching a career or entering new phases in their careers. The bitter is that they are leaving us and we will no longer see them in the halls and classrooms. Hopefully they won’t forget us but will be active in the alumni association and in Sigma Theta Tau.

There is a book published in 2010 by Sigma Theta Tau International which contains reflections by nurses on a variety of topics and is called: you’ll know you’re a nurse when. . . . I want to share with your two responses that I think are especially meaningful.

For those who are graduating and are about to enter the profession, this is what you have to look forward to:

“You’ll know you’re a nurse when You hold a dying baby and sing a lullaby, you thank a wounded warrior for a job well done, you rejoice with a family over a life well lived, and you know that you have made a difference” Debra Craig San Diego California. p.3

For those entering a new professional phase:

“You look across the patient’s bed at a co-worker, smile, and know you both just understood and wordlessly “spoke” the same language.” Emily Vorwerk, Sylvania Ohio p.14

To those who are graduating, CONGRATULATIONS!! You are going to do great things.

And those who are still in your programs, I can’t wait to welcome you back in August.

Have a great summer.
Dean Lewis

Submitted by Dean Judith H. Lewis, EDD, RN