Nursing Student Speeches

Let’s start from the beginning. On our first day of nursing school orientation, when we were all strangers—both excited and terrified—our associate dean, Dr. Burkhart, had us take our first step into our professional lives. We all stood up in the auditorium where we would spend many hours jotting notes over the next few years, and harmoniously took a step forward. Needless to say, we had NO idea of what we were stepping into.

Together, we survived our first exam where every question had four correct answer choices but somehow the one we chose was still wrong. And we kept stepping. We made it to the notorious med-surg semester—lost sleep, weight, friends, and some sanity … yet survived it and we kept stepping.

We learned in pediatrics that children are not just tiny adults and in OB, we witnessed the miracle of life … though not without some nausea, we kept stepping.

As we look back at all of the steps we took together and where we stand now, it’s clear that we learned to take care of our patients by first learning to take care of one another. I feel incredibly honored and proud to speak on behalf of THIS amazing class, as this class is truly one of a kind.

Since day one, we have genuinely supported each other. Whether it was by nudging each other to stay awake during four-hour lectures, bringing Dunkin’ Donuts to the HESI standardized exam for the whole class at the end of each semester, bringing each other breakfast before heading to clinicals at 6:30 a.m., rejoicing together after every exam, and celebrating one another after our first successful IV and catheter insertions. There is a special bond that this class shares, one that carried us through any and all obstacles that nursing school brought.

And although being surrounded by determined, ambitious, and sincerely helpful peers made our goal of becoming nurses a reality, the real masterminds behind our success were truly our faculty. The faculty that challenged us, prayed for us, stressed out over our grades probably more than we did, and taught us values that go far beyond care plans and NCLEX strategies. You are the nurses that we aspire to be. Thank you for holding us to the highest standards of excellence to make sure we reached our full potential.

So here’s to our extraordinary class. And here’s to our remarkable faculty. Here’s to our tolerant loved ones who understood all of the nursing lingo in this speech because it’s all we’ve talked about for the last three years. Here’s to the Kentucky Clinic Starbucks pumping more caffeine than blood through our veins in order to keep us going. Here’s to making every day “love your kidneys” day.

We took our first step together, on that very first day of nursing, as strangers not knowing what lay ahead of us. We have gained knowledge, lifelong friends, and some incredible memories … together. So class, as this is likely our last time in the same place at the same time, I ask you to stand. And together, no longer strangers but now as a family, let’s take a step … into our futures, into the unlimited potential that we are capable of and have been prepared for as University of Kentucky College of Nursing graduates. It has been a privilege to do nursing school and life with this exceptional group of people.

We’ve always been told, “If you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it.” And now we’ve documented, so guess what that means? WE DID IT.

Congratulations, Class of December 2021.

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