Jas’ note: It’s a great honor to have my wife, Michelle Mollica, RN, MS, OCN, as my next guest in the Inspire Series. Michelle recently gave an address to nursing graduates of D’Youville College, which was called “inspirational” by a number of those in attendance. An edited version appears here.
Firstly, I want to say congratulations. You have made it. For some, this has been a long path. Many of you have come from different fields, changed educational paths along the way, or changed careers entirely. You have gone from a scared student, afraid to do a physical assessment on your own classmate, to a confident, mature, professional graduate nurse, ready to take on the world. You have made it through the long nights of studying for exams and skills testing, preparing for clinical rotations, and balancing your home and family lives. You have made sacrifices that have finally paid off. You are now graduate nurses from D’Youville College, and you should be extremely proud of yourselves.
As you go out into the world of nursing, remember that in all ways, you are now a representative of D’Youville College’s School of Nursing. In your clinical rotations, you have seen different types of nurses; there are some who made you question the reasons you went into nursing in the first place (we’ve all met them, and we know they are out there), and then there are the nurses who are extraordinary. They seem to light up a patient’s room with just a few words. They are a patient advocate in every sense of the word. These nurses go above and beyond the basic tasks every single day. You have the potential to do amazing things, and I have no doubt that you will.
I urge you to consider what you can do to improve the face of nursing in the future. You are entering this new phase of your lives at a time when the world of healthcare is changing…. changing in ways that will call upon each of you…each one of us…to think differently about nursing…how and what you can contribute, not only to caring about individual people, but what you can contribute to the good of your community.
You can become a shaper of change! You can be the one who changes the face of nursing! Embrace this incredible opportunity! And when opportunities knock, open the door, accept the challenge. You might surprise yourself!
I would like to share with you a few things that could be of use to you as you transition into your role as a nurse:
- Understand and always remember why you went into nursing. When times get tough, and believe me, they can, this is your “go to pill.” It will help ground you.
- You need to have passion. Do what you love to do……and take your heart to work. And on that note, when you lose your passion in whatever field of nursing you are in, consider a change. The amazing thing about nursing is that you can go anywhere and do anything as a nurse. This leads me to my next point…
- Embrace opportunities and challenges. They will make you stronger and wiser. And they open doors. I promise you.
- The next is one that I know you’ve heard, but it rings true especially in nursing: Always do the right thing, especially when no one is looking.
- Set goals. Know where you’re going and what you want to do. Life is never a straight line and that’s okay. But always have a vision of what and who you want to be.
- Always keep a sense of humor.
- Never stop learning. I hope that we as your faculty have shown you that you will never know everything about everything. You will become experts in your field, but the education never stops. You should always strive to learn more and continue to grow.
Thank you so much for allowing me to take a small part in your celebration.
Michelle Mollica, RN, MS, OCN is the coordinator of the RN to BSN Online Program at D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y. and an Assistant Professor in the college’s School of Nursing. She is also completing her PhD in Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina.
As we inch towards May, the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” can be heard. It’s a time of great joy and excitement. College is over and the real world is waiting for you. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a job is waiting for you. Statistics show that very recent grads may be at a higher risk of unemployment. Look at the Class of 2011. By October of their graduation year, about 5 months post-commencement, 14 percent were jobless, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
Not exactly reassuring, right? Well, here is where I and a group of other great PR pros hope to help you out. On Thursday, May 2 from 9-10 p.m. EST, I am moderating the HAPPO Twitter chat on “Creative Job Search Strategies.” What is HAPPO? It was started by Arik Hanson and Valerie Simon to connect job seekers in the PR field to those that could help in some way. We hope that some of the ideas that are tweeted can help you in your search. Before next week’s chat, here are a few ideas on getting creative with your search.
- Keep Your Eyes Open- You never know when a great opportunity may come upon you. Never just dismiss it; think about the pros and cons. I always do a personal SWOT analysis at every opportunity.
- Spread Your Wings- As much as you may not want to, considering a job in another city or state could be the perfect move. It offers the challenge of learning a new area and making a name for yourself. Plus, meeting new people always helps to challenge us. This may not sound “creative,” but some grads just think about staying near home.
- Be Strategic- Some say to “pepper” firms/agencies with you resume. This isn’t the best move. By focusing your search and your resume, you give yourself a better shot at impressing a recruiter. Don’t use the generic cover letter. Show passion in your writing and your approach.
- Don’t Doubt Yourself- This sounds easy, but it isn’t always the case. You are the one that knows your skills best; believe in yourself and know that even though you may not know it all, you can still be a success.
If you have more creative ideas for the job search, leave them in the comments and join us on May 2 on Twitter! You can find me @JasMollica.
It has been 66 years since the great Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although I never saw Jackie play, he impacted me from the time I was very young. My parents bought me a children’s story, called “The Value of Courage: The Story of Jackie Robinson.” I read it over and over again. A poster of Robinson adorned my room as a teen, as a reminder of this courage.
I never experienced an ounce of what Jackie went through, yet I have always been drawn to the way he carried himself during turbulent times. He never fought back and let his actions, on and off the field, do the talking. I think about Jackie a lot when times are tough and even when they are great. Here are a few ways that he has inspired me.
- Tenacity- Despite great odds and constant scrutiny, Jackie never backed down. This is a great lesson, regardless of race, how we can stand up for what we believe. If you believe in your heart of hearts that you can do something, go with confidence and do it!
- Work Ethic- Jackie never settled. He continued to improve his game and push himself to be the best he could be.
- Pride- Jackie knew he couldn’t necessarily fight back against those who hurled racial slurs or threw an intentional fast ball at his head. He pressed forward and got stronger. The lesson here: No matter what the odds, YOU have the power to be in control.
- Courage- Jackie could have given up at any time. He didn’t… despite what seemed like insurmountable odds. Think about your toughest time… how did you handle it? While starting your own business may not seem at the level of courage of what Jackie did, it still takes a ton to step out on your own.
Jackie Robinson was much more than a baseball player. He was a symbol of hope, dedication and pride. It’s something we can still embrace and learn from today.
(photo courtesy of MLB)