Nursing Candle Lighting Ceremony
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Nursing Candle Lighting Ceremony

(“Pomp and Circumstance”) – Would everyone please rise
for our national anthem, which will be sung by one of
the graduates, Charmaine Jones. (“The Star-Spangled Banner”) ♪ Oh say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn’s early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight’s last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets’ red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ O say does that
star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home of the brave ♪ (audience applauding) – Thank you, that was beautiful. Please continue standing
for the invocation which will be read by Professor Tarasko. – I would like to share a prayer with you, the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And when there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so
much seek to be consoled as to console, to be
understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, and it is pardoning that we are pardoned. And it is in dying that we are
born to eternal life, amen. – Thank you, Professor Tarasko. Graduates, be seated. It’s now my pleasure to
introduce Dr. Diane Call, President of Queensborough
Community College, who will now address the graduates. – Thank you. Welcome, families, friends, faculty, and especially, graduates. I look at this class of 2014
and each of you as individuals and as very successful
students, and I do so with enormous pride and admiration. It’s a feeling that’s
shared by the faculty who are with us today who have
cheered you on all this time. Congratulations on your accomplishments. You chose one of the most
difficult programs at QCC. In any year, thousands of
students hope to study nursing. Our standards for admission
are very, very high, and recently, only about 80 students begin the climb from NU 101. You earned your acceptance
into NU 101, and you kept going through four semesters or more
of clinical study, and today, 37 of you have successfully
completed this degree program from all the thousands who so wanted it. We tested you and you tested yourself. You sacrificed in small
and significant ways to reach your goal, as have
your family and your friends who supported you and encouraged you and now celebrate your success. You are as much survivors
as you are graduates, and I know you share this
triumph with your family and your friends, many
of whom had to wonder along with you if all the
sacrifices and the absences from their lives and family
events was in fact worth it. It was and it is. Ladies and gentlemen, these 37 graduates are among the best and the strongest of the QCC class of 2014. They come from the US,
Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 22% of our graduates today are men. That’s more than twice
the national average. It’s a point of pride for all of us. Almost half of you already hold a degree and you plan to continue. Queensborough has led CUNY with the university’s first
dual joint degree program in Nursing, the associate degree
and then the baccalaureate. We have it with Hunter who were
the first in the university, and now we have two more
schools to which our students as graduates in Nursing can go, York and CUNY School for
Professional Studies. When someone decides to
enter the nursing profession, it means they choose to
help people who are in need. Professional nursing responsibilities have changed considerably over time. Today’s nurses are highly
respected and valued members of the healthcare team who bring
their own body of knowledge to the process of healthcare,
and who collaborate with physicians and members of
other healthcare disciplines to meet patient needs. The need for registered
nurses is projected to grow almost 19% in the next 10 years, faster than in almost
any other occupation, and that’s because of many reasons, the emphasis on preventive
care, the growing rates of chronic illnesses such
as diabetes and obesity, and the demand for healthcare services from the baby boomer
population as they live longer and more active lives,
and thank goodness for me because I’m a baby boomer,
you’re gonna be there for me. Nurses are the human component in the healthcare delivery system, and in earning your degree,
you have been uniquely prepared to reach out to those in needs, filling the void of human caring created by clinical environments. It’s a grave responsibility. You’re a member of the most
trusted profession in the world, and it is your calling to be there for those in pain and
suffering, those in fear and those that are moving
on to worlds beyond us. So take a moment, graduates,
to reflect on your role as a nurse and the importance
you play in the community and in our society. Relive the special
moments when you realized how you made a difference
and the satisfaction that you felt, knowing
you were able to help. It is an honor and a
privilege to serve as you will and to possess the skills
that are so uniquely nursing. Graduates, please remember what
you have already discovered about yourselves. You have talent and you’re
extraordinarily self-disciplined. You can survive any obstacle. You make a very important
difference in many lives, and please remember that
laughter and friendship are sustaining, whether the
worst of times or in triumphs, and triumphs you have. You are matched tough, so going forward, take care of yourself,
make time for yourself, stay curious about the things around you and your profession, and
please remember Queensborough, the faculty, the staff,
and your fellow students who took this journey with you. Congratulations. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Dr. Call. And now it’s my pleasure
to introduce to you, the Chairperson of the Nursing Department, Professor Anne Marie Menendez, to address the graduating class. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon, graduates. How wonderful it must feel to celebrate after all your hard work
and sacrifices you’ve made to get to this point. I know many of you have
juggled family responsibilities and work, and many, even full-time. We applaud you for your
determination and your fortitude. We often speak in education
of the opportunity to change lives through teaching. As educators, we believe we
can influence our students through books, readings,
writing, and reflection. We utilize the latest technology
to augment our lessons. We incorporate service
learning to address local needs while developing academic skills and fostering a commitment
to the community. All this to mold you into the nurse who will meet the needs
of patients and families in a highly complex healthcare arena, but as you leave Queensborough, one of your most important teachers has yet to present themselves. That is your future patients. Indeed, your patients will
teach you many valuable lessons and will inform who you are and who, more honestly, you will become. You will care for people
when they enter the world and notice that although
their entrances are similar, their paths can be quite different. You will care for patients
who recover health and those that do not. You will notice the choices they have made and how they respond to
their health challenges. You will see patients suffer
both physically and mentally, and wonder how some are so very strong and others need much
support and encouragement. And you will see people at the end of life and listen as they review their past and long for the future. You will hear of their
accomplishments and failures. You will notice who is at the bedside of your patients and who is not. You will be privy to their deepest fears and biggest regrets. You will share their most joyful moments. When I look back on my patients, I notice how their stories
have influenced my story. I notice how I have become more patient, more hopeful, more grateful. I have shared their stories
to teach you lessons. Now you will hear your own stories and create your own lessons. There is a saying that
when the student is ready, the teacher presents themselves. As you begin your practice
of nursing, my wish for you is that your teachers are many,
your lessons are meaningful, and that you are ready. I wish you all the best, class of 2014. Congratulations. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Professor Menendez. And now, Professor Janice
Molloy from the Nursing faculty will deliver the congratulatory address, and I must make note that the students have selected Professor
Molloy to do this task, which she does so beautifully. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon. Family, friends, faculty, graduates. It is my great pleasure to
deliver the congratulatory speech to a group of students who
worked tirelessly with sacrifice and dedication to adhere to
the numerous requirements here at Queensborough needed
for a successful completion of this program. Congratulations on a job well done. Recently, while going through
some nursing journals, as you will all be doing
shortly, I came across an ad for an RN position which read as follows. Being a nurse means you
will never be bored. You will sometimes be frustrated. You will sometimes step
into the lives of patients who will bless you, who will curse you. You will see people at their worst and you will see people at their best. You will see life begin, grow, and end. You will experience resounding triumphs and devastating failures. You will laugh and you will cry. You will never cease to be
amazed at people’s capacity for love, courage, and endurance. The end of the ad read,
the faint of heart, please do not apply. I am proud to say that every
QCC graduate on this stage can apply for this job. (audience applauding) Absolutely.
(audience applauding) They all exhibit caring,
which is the central focus of any nursing practice. Graduates, as you leave your
home here at Queensborough, the Medical Arts Building,
third floor, here is my hopes for each and every one of you. I hope you will always
honor this noble profession you have entered with
honesty and integrity. I hope you know that laughter is just as important as
patient identification. I hope your thirst for learning
will continue for yourself, for your patients, and forever. I hope you remember the
alphabet soup of the ABGs and the cascading of the EKGs. I hope you maintain your
personal wellness and happiness as you are the anchor to healthcare. I hope your curiosity continues
to grow each and every day of your nursing career,
and you never stop asking, tell me why. I hope you remain the caring,
nurturing, kind nurses you are at this very
moment, and my last hope is that you realize, the
best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in
the service of others, as quoted by Gandhi, not Molloy. (people laughing) So as you transition from
pupil to professional, remember, we talked about
the heart a lot, right? A lot, so now, please go
and talk from your heart. Keep calm, ask questions, and carry on. Congratulations. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Professor Molloy. We will now proceed with
the lighting of candles. The students have selected
Mrs. Barbara Caravanos and Mrs. Audrey Maroney to
begin lighting the candles. This is a very important tradition
in honoring the students, so please hold all your
applause and your cheers until after the candle lighting and until after the nurses
recite their pledge. Damian Ewko. (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) Jason Dong. Soraya Ricardo. Jessica Shea. Toby Anhall. Charmaine Jones. Itai Matute. Marian Moore. Selene Clarice Hawkes. Tamar View. Bradley Adams. Jennifer Quinones. Monique Mackenzie. Fan Jin. Catherine Hicks. Andrew Hilbert. Charmaqueta Nicole Kayson. Jennifer Navarreto. Milaoti Singh. Sunny Roo. Pang Lin. Chow Yi Zheng. Derani Danirang. Shamima Begum. Stephanie Torres. Lauren Fertell. Zawi Ann Siu. Lou Lu. Patricia Prasad. Minerva Brandon. Lanasha Joseph. Byron Mendoza. Nicole Bermisa. Sharelle Miller. Karen Gray. Sacha Cleary. And now three members of the
Student Nurses Association, Nicole Bermisa, Karen
Gray, and Sharelle Miller, will lead the class in
reciting the Nurses Pledge. – I will strive with all my
being, and with the help of God, to become an open, honest, kind,
and diversified individual, and in doing so, I will
attain the qualities essential in the practice of nursing, for it is only after
realizing one’s self-worth, we are able to promote that of others. The deliverance of high-quality healthcare is of essential importance,
but let us also reach beyond a treatment or diagnosis, and remember that entrusted
to my care is a human being with all the loves, hates,
fears, and idiosyncrasies that are an integral part
of the human species. Let me not grow too
comfortable in my knowledge, but actively seek out new information or continuance of my education. Being a nurse requires continuous growth. I dedicate myself to this cause, and my life to the profession of nursing. – Congratulations to the graduates. (audience applauding and cheering) Graduates, please extinguish your candles. (audience applauding and cheering) Graduates, be seated. And now, the President of the
Student Nurses Association, Sacha Cleary, will deliver
the farewell address to her class. – Good afternoon. I need a moment before I begin. I’m currently experiencing
tachycardia and diaphoresis. I need Ativan stat. In layman’s terms, my
heart is beating very fast, and I’m sweating. This is a feeling that
we all can relate to before every exam we took
in the nursing program, after every exam, during
every critical element. You name it, we felt it. On behalf of all 36
graduates, we welcome you to our candle lighting ceremony. Thanks to God for making
this day a reality. I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me. Thank you, President Diane Call, Vice President of Student
Affairs, Karen Steele, Vice President Reiner, and our
very own Nursing Chairperson, Anne Marie Menendez. With QCC’s vision and solid leadership, we stand here before you
as the 2014 graduates. To a special group of nurses,
our QCC nursing faculty, your commitment, encouragement,
compassion, and knowledge is recognized and appreciated
by each and every one of us. I am proud to say that
every graduate here today has a positive experience to share about each faculty member. The intensity of QCC’s nursing
program requires support, and this faculty has provided us with the supportive
environment which was conducive to our learning and growth over the years. Their strong passion, knowledge base, and varied teaching techniques equipped us with the skill sets, sorry. We needed. Sorry. Okay. To the special group of nurses,
our QCC nursing faculty, your commitment, encouragement,
compassion, and knowledge is recognized and appreciated
by each and every one of us. I am proud to say that
every graduate here today has a positive experience to share about each faculty member. The intensity of QCC’s nursing
program requires support, and this faculty has provided us with a supportive environment
which was conducive to our learning and growth over the years. Their strong passion, knowledge base, and varied teaching techniques equipped us with the skill sets we
needed to be successful in this dynamic program. They transformed us from timid, wide-eyed, awkward student nurses in
NU 101, to confident, safe, independent, and efficient
NU 202 graduates. Now, don’t get me wrong. This faculty was very tough. The standard was excellence,
and they demanded nothing less. We had to rise to the
occasion each and every time, regardless if we had tears in our eyes or feelings of embarrassment
from their guiding words. This forced us to
critically look at ourselves and make that informed decision
as to whether this field of work was for us. And look where we are here today. (audience applauding) I would like to give a special thank you to our Social Science, English Department, and our Biology Department. We all had to master
Anatomy and Physiology. I can remember wearing a
mask for the very first time, and it was not during
my clinical assignments, but during AMP lab to hide
the formaldehyde smell. Now, tell me later, which smell is worse, formaldehyde or C. diff. To the parents, family,
friends, and loved ones that are present today, I
want to give a huge thank you. Thank you for your presence in our lives. Thank you for standing beside us, dealing with the panic
moments, the attitudes, the down times and the high times, praising us when we did well, and encourage us when we fell short. (audience applauding and cheering) Believing in us when, at times, we did not believe in ourselves. Sharing our hopes, our
dreams, and our future. This ceremony allows us to
share our successes with you. With your support, we can
celebrate our achievements today. To my mother, I couldn’t
begin to thank you for your support, tough love, and guidance throughout my life. Because of you, I am able
to represent my class at such an honorable event. To my family and friends
who hung in there with me and believed in me, thank you. (audience applauding) I’m emotional. Standing on the stage
today and being pinned by a faculty member signifies
our official completion of this prestigious nursing program. We have been waiting
for this day, this time, this very moment, for so long. Queensborough has been many of our homes for quite a few years, and
this is officially the end of our journey here. The candlelight and then pinning ceremony signifies the transition from
a student to a graduate nurse. This tradition began in
1860 by a philosopher and founder of nursing,
Florence Nightingale. She spent endless nights
providing personal care for the wounded and established her image as the lady with the lamp. To my elite eight, the evening students, we know rounds at night all too well. (audience applauding) Leaving clinicals at 11 p.m.,
that was late enough for us. Modern nurses retired
wearing the nursing caps. However, we continue to
proudly wear this unique pin that represents our school of nursing. I will wear my pin proudly
throughout my career as a nurse. This is our medal of honor. (audience applauding) This is for all of our
dedication, hard work, sleepless nights, and sacrifices we made to complete the nursing program. With that said, let’s take
a trip down memory lane. Going through this program has been an emotional
rollercoaster for some of us, but at this very moment, I
know that we are all proud. Most of us will never
forget many of our firsts in this program, like our first friend, our first nursing professor,
our first clinical rotation, our first time using a
stethoscope correctly. This might sound silly but I’m guilty. Our first sim lab, our very first patient, our first physical assessment. I won’t share, but Professor Hutchinson, I will never forget. Our first trach patient. She gave me advice, and that was to never pick up a cigarette. Our first IV setup, our first injection, our hundredth heparin injection, our first stage for wound dressing, our first whiff of C. diff, our first assistance in a natural birth, our first C-section, our
first operating room rotation, our first study group, the
first time we held a newborn that was only hours old, and our first newborn diaper change, our first pediatric client,
our first all-nighter, our first tears, our first hugs, our first psych patient, our first day signing
the NU tool tool sheet in the Nursing Resource Center,
realizing that we made it. All 37 of us who signed
that sheet at the beginning of this semester has made
it through this program. (audience applauding and cheering) Now, don’t forget our last
group project, the last HESI, and the last of Queensborough
Community College. These moments will live with us forever. So, to my fellow graduates,
I will take this time to share with you, throughout
this nursing program, there are several skill
sets that I have acquired as I continue to grow
and develop in the field. I would like to share with my friends, the graduates of 2014, as we say farewell this afternoon, self-awareness. Self-awareness is having
a clear perception of your personality,
including your strengths, your weaknesses, your
thoughts, your beliefs, your motivation, your emotion,
and how it impacts others. Self-awareness allows you
to understand other people, how they perceive you, your
attitude and your response to them in that moment. In nursing, it is imperative
that you know who you are and what you can contribute
to the profession of nursing. Being self-aware as nurses
creates adaptable environments and ensures that you are
promoting optimal care. We treat our patients and their families as if they were one of our own. Apart of being self-aware,
we know that people will, at times, forget your name
but they will never forget how you have impacted
their lives, so remember, we do not need to hear the
thank you from the patients and their families, but
be fulfilled with knowing that you have genuinely
performed your obligations and duties as a nurse. (audience applauding) A recent quote I read
to find the true meaning of being a nurse. Being a nurse isn’t about grades. It’s about being who we are. No book can teach you how
to cry with a patient. No class can teach you
how to tell their family that their parents have died or are dying. No professor can teach
you how to find dignity in giving someone a bed bath. A nurse is not about the
pills or the charting. It’s about being able
to care for the people when they’re at their weakest moments. To my SNA team, a job well done. We accomplished all of our
goals set forth this semester. I hope we all took away leadership skills that will follow us throughout our lives. Thank you for your devotion to Queensborough Student
Nursing Association. I am honored to be in front of you today. I am grateful to be your classmate. I am proud to call you my friends. I am so pleased with each
and every unique nurse on the stage today. I foresee continued growth and love for the profession of nursing. I am confident that we will
give QCC’s Nursing Spring ’14 a passing rate of 100% on the NCLEX. (audience applauding and cheering) We are all fully devoted and determined, and I wouldn’t hesitate to
put my life in your hands. We are the strong 37. This is a dream come true. Congratulations to us, we really made it. This is truly a bittersweet moment, but goodbyes are not forever,
goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I will miss
you until we meet again. (audience applauding) Thank you. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Sacha. Now the students will
receive their nursing pins. For the presentation of the pins, the students have selected
Professors Molloy, Stroehlein, Spencer, and Hutchinson. Graduates, please stand. (“All of Me”) (audience applauding and cheering) Congratulations to the graduates and their families and friends. (audience applauding and cheering) Job well done, guys, absolutely. I’d like to thank David Talman, who provided the beautiful piano music to accompany the celebration. (audience applauding) And great thanks to
Professors Georgilis, Bentley, and Bayer, who organized this
as they do each semester, and assisted in this event. Many hours went into this. And last but not least,
thanks to our stage managers, John Funke and Mark Amsterdam,
who direct this program and also spend many hours
in rehearsals with us, as they do each semester,
because without them, this could not go on. (audience applauding) So we hope you enjoyed this program, but before you go out and celebrate, we invite you to join us for refreshments in the lobby of the Science building. There will be ushers, student
ushers, to help you get there, and before leaving, please
wait until all the graduates have left the auditorium. Thanks and have a great day
and have fun celebrating. (audience applauding and cheering) (“All of Me”)

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