This is Our Time
Graduating class of 2021, wow. This has been quite the experience. Before I get started, I wanted to thank each of you for impacting me and my college experience. Truly, this is a class of amazing individuals going to go forth, serve, and change the world.
I wish I could share something that would change the whole world or your whole perspective, but instead, I've opted to share a couple of stories and a thought with you today.
We have multiple classmates that have been needed, where they were, at a certain time. One classmate shared she was in a situation in which her patient only spoke Spanish. He was hemorrhaging, and they needed to provide multiple diagnostic tests and procedures to save his life. This student was the only one who spoke Spanish, and because of that, she was needed at that time.
Another one of our classmates recalled, "During one of my capstone shifts, we had a young patient who had been in an accident and was not doing well. My preceptor was busy with our other patient, but I felt like I was needed more in this trauma patient's room with his mom. I was able to help her talk about her son and her life. Talking about their memories together helped her to cope. I learned not to get so caught up in tasks that I forget this day might be the hardest day of someone's life."
I bet many of us can relate to stories similar to this-whether it's someone who needed a listener, or a patient about to fall, or another patient who had some bleed or emergency that we recognized-it was critical moments like these when we were needed. These are smaller examples of being required at a certain time, but these moments are crucial.
Most of us know about Florence Nightingale. She was called to the work of nursing during the Crimean War, and that was her time. Throughout history, many other nurses changed the world during their time-Jean Ward, who discovered that sunlight could help cure jaundice; Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American registered nurse who raised nurses of color; Clara Barton, who founded the Red Cross. These nurses were needed during their time, and they changed the world. They had their time, and they fulfilled their missions.
Now, I think it's safe to say none of us expected a pandemic when we started the nursing program, full of excitement for the possibilities that lay ahead. Instead, the worldwide crisis stripped us of a nursing study abroad, the mass casualty drill, and other in-person events, including this one. Amidst all of this, many of us have stepped up and worked on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We've seen the effects and tragedies of the coronavirus firsthand, and we're entering the world during this pivotal time in history. I saw a picture recently of a nurse putting on personal protective equipment with the scripture Esther 4:14. The end of the verse states, "who knoweth whether thou art come for such a time as this?" Graduating class of 2021, we are here at this time for a reason. Our cohort has experienced nursing school as no one has before in the history of nursing, including the BYU College of Nursing. On top of that, many of us experienced additional hardships and tragedies while obtaining our undergraduate degrees.
I have admired each of you as I've seen you endure hardships with the utmost grace. Whether it was losing a loved one to the coronavirus, a broken relationship, learning about a family member diagnosed with cancer, or even losing a child, you have held your heads high and have carried forward. Even more than that, you have continued to serve others and turn outward while enduring the hardships you've gone through. There will be hardships in the future, but you have already proven yourself. You have taken the call to practice the Healer's Art and turn outward, regardless of circumstance. THIS is why you are here at this time.
More than ever, we are needed in the world "for such a time as this." This is our time. Congratulations, class of 2021-You've made it, and I've admired you as you have gotten through this time with strength and courage never seen in this way before. We came to learn, and now it's our time to go forth to serve by practicing the Healer's Art. This is our time graduating class of 2021.
Watch a video of Jessica's message at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=273824127757799