nursing schoolWhen students arrive at Hopkins Nursing, the first step is to have a photo taken for a badge—one that will be a constant companion all the way to the final step, graduation. “It’s amazing how much that one, small piece of plastic has seen,” Caitlin Dreisbach told fellow members of the Fall Accelerated Class of 2013 at the Academic Degree Completion Ceremony December 20. “What,” she wondered aloud, “would the person photographed on my badge say about the person who stands here at the podium today?”

She hoped it would say congratulations to someone fully prepared “to not change only one world but thousands.”

Having the courage to speak up for change and better healthcare worldwide was a message heard throughout the program at Shriver Hall on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University.

 “Your voice will be essential in reforming healthcare,” said Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and dean of the University of Maryland College of Nursing. “The nursing pin you have rightly earned has both sparkle and weight to it. You stand side by side with others who, like you, serve as the head and heart of the healthcare enterprise. The glint of your pin is suggestive of this privileged position.” And yet, she cautioned, “at times, the pin will pull at you like an unbearable weight … a compelling reminder that you must not only serve as the head and heart but also the conscience.”

“Go out and lift up this country and the world so that others might find their strength by standing on your shoulders,” master’s program representative Kevin Witcher told classmates before offering a rendition of the song “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Grobin.

Does all the courage and preparation that go into being a Hopkins Nurse mean it will go perfectly all the time? Hardly, said Caitlin Clarke ’10, elected director of the Johns Hopkins Nursing Alumni Association, remembering her own gaffes as a brand-new nurse. But stick with it, and lean on fellow nurses for support, she advised. “They’ve been there. You won’t get it on the first try and neither did they. But you will get it eventually."

A Gifted and Giving Class

Earlier in the week, students from the Fall Accelerated Class of 2013 presented Dean-designate Patricia Davidson, PhD, Med, FAAN, and Associate Dean for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs Nancy Griffin with framed prints of the Bmore Caring shirts designed as a memento of the students’ time at JHUSON. In addition, the cohort donated its lab coats as a gift to those who will follow in its footsteps.

“The cohort has done so much for our community,” Griffin said. “You should see all of the uniforms that they donated. They are very caring students who embody the core values of our mission.”


Watch video of the ceremony.
Learn more about the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.