This morning our College of Nursing graduated "the weekend students." A committed, passionate group, many changing career paths, but all headed to careers as nurses! Surrounded by family and friends, they smiled broadly at what it took for them to achieve this goal. I spoke to them about five key objectives they must pursue to be successful in this new world of health care: understanding how to improve quality and safety, guiding great patient experiences; relationship based care; using technology to provide continuity and safety; coordinating handoffs of care using evidence based care; and decreasing the cost of care, creating value.
The student speaker, Kristen Millburn, spoke about their courage. She thanked administration at St. Joseph's for creating a great system in which to practice - one that values nursing! She thanked the faculty for having great passion, and supporting them, the nurses at the hospital who took time to mentor them, and her class for supporting each other. The graduates honored Talbot Abendroth from 1-4 as being approachable and a great mentor!
Finally AnneMarie Czyz inspired us all reading a story about our nursing staff helping an elderly patient leave the hospital to attend his wife's funeral, and for having the courage to make that happen for their patient.
Over and over they talked about being a St. Joseph's nurse, and they say those words with pride and honor for coming from a lineage of more than 100 years of other great nurses. They stand on the shoulders of many women and men who devoted careers to providing great care for patients from the hospital, to home care, to mental health.
Congratulations and welcome to the St. Joseph's team for many of the graduates! Thank you and congratulations as well to the faculty who taught them our mission, vision and values so beautifully! We all should be grateful for the courage of our former Trustees and leaders who kept the College going through the lean years of nursing. They had the vision to know that someday it would be the real story of St. Joseph's success.