Sisters Megan and Denise Gould of Lewisporte and 33 of their classmates in the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) (Collaborative) program were among the new graduates honoured recently at Memorial University's School of Nursing annual graduation ceremony.
Family and friends joined faculty and staff to honour new graduates of the school's BN (Collaborative), BN Post RN, BN NP and master of nursing programs.
"Over these past few years you have grown personally and professionally. You’ve stretched yourself in ways that you likely never thought possible," Dean Judith McFetridge-Durdle told students in her address. "You’ve learned that you can really make a difference in someone’s life.
What a great feeling that is – I can still remember those moments in my own nursing practice. They are moments that will always stay with me."
Megan and Denise Gould spent the past four years studying together, and helping each other out along the way.
"We are the first two nurses in our family," said Megan. "We always wanted to do something in the medical field, and In nursing you are able to do hands-on patient care."
The two sisters will be working in St. John's; Megan is in the oncology unit at the Health Sciences Centre, while Denise is at the Miller Centre working in rehabilitation.
"I'd really love to work in the case room," said Nida Taher, who spent much of her free time during her four years in the BN program volunteering on campus and in the larger community.
In spite of the challenge of juggling volunteer work and studies, Nida managed to make the dean's list during all years of her program.
"Never lose that spark, that excitement, that drive to be great, to make a difference and to be a registered nurse," said Erin Evans, who shared valedictory honours with classmate Sarah Whalen. "It is with that passion that we will become masters of our craft, and will seek to change the system and change the world."
The two new graduates reminded their classmates that lifelong-learning would be important throughout their careers, and urged fellow graduates to "....increasing your knowledge about your discipline, your practice and most importantly, yourself. It is with that knowledge that nursing excellence will come, and in our field, this is truly invaluable, wherever this road of life-long learning takes us."
The ceremony also highlighted the achievements of graduates in the master of nursing, BN (post RN) and BN (post RN) nurse practitioner programs.
"We know that it takes hard work and determination to juggle your studies with full-time employment and family responsibilities," said Dean McFetridge-Durdle. "Congratulations to all of you.
Retired faculty member Professor Marilyn Beaton was special guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. She spoke to students about the history of the school, the history of nursing in the province, and the excellence of the education they had received.