Student Commencement Speaker Reflects on Nursing Education
Chamberlain graduate Seedra Eichelberger spoke at the March 3, 2013 commencement ceremony for the three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates at Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Columbus campus. Excerpts from her speech are below:
Good afternoon. I feel so privileged to be standing before you today speaking on behalf of Chamberlain College of Nursing BSN graduates.
As I reflect back on my nursing school career, the first thing I have realized is that I have found the unexpected here. I came to nursing school as a second career student. My life was full and I wasn't expecting that I would make significant friends here. I thought that at the end of the process, I would find myself changed as a result of amazing clinical experiences and memorable patients. And I have found those. However, now I find myself at the end of a very fast three years and it is the relationships with my classmates and instructors that have most deeply affected me.
I'm realizing that nursing school has been a sort of two-tiered experience. On one level, we have been bombarded with information, procedures, concepts, and tasks. We have studied and memorized, integrated and synthesized. And we have succeeded. This program and faculty have laid a foundation from which we will emerge as knowledgeable and skillful nurse leaders.
The second level of this experience has been that we have done all of this together. And maybe in being together, we have learned the essence of nursing. I would say that nursing is fundamentally about relationships. You see, we all showed up for the beginning of classes and were immediately thrown together. We quickly became each other's teachers, coaches, advocates, caregivers and partners for the duration of this transformation. We have comforted each other when our fears and anxieties about successfully making this transition were almost overwhelming.
Let’s continue to develop togetherness as nurses. Let's take the lessons that we have learned from each other and transfer them to the patients that we will care for. We will not always have the cure or solution, but we will always have ourselves to offer. And through relationships, we have the power to affect and change lives.