At a special reception in their honor, graduates and their guests were welcomed by emcee Laura Garcia, MSN, BSN, PHN, RN, CDCES, CV-BC, CLSSGB, Director of Telemetry, and invited to partake in a gourmet luncheon. Brother Richard Hirbe, fsp, BCC, MPC, Director of Spiritual Care for St. Francis, next offered a prayer and a blessing of hands, in recognition of the care that is delivered by the hands and hearts of nurses. The program was highlighted by keynote speaker Kristin Christophersen, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, CPHQ, CLSSGB, FACHE, Chief Nursing Officer for St. Francis Medical Center and Prime Healthcare Regional Chief Nursing Officer, Region 1, who shared personal learnings from her career in nursing, recounting the challenges, opportunities, and rewards. She urged the RN graduates to keep discovering, to be fearless in stretching their strengths and talents, and to stay true to their passion to heal and to equip patients – whatever their circumstances – with what they need to attain health and to be their best self. In closing she imparted three values to keep at the forefront of their conduct and care: Character, Energy, and Competence.
The RN graduates were then individually presented with certificates of achievement and nursing pins symbolizing their commitment to excellence. Surrounded by an ardent network of support, they were congratulated by their nursing directors and applauded by family and friends.
Throughout the ceremony, the auditorium was filled with a spirit of good will and camaraderie, and as the reception concluded, one nurse graduate stood up and summed up the collective experience at the hospital. With a smile and definitive nod to her fellow graduates, their guests, and the nursing leaders around room, she stated, “What stands out most at St. Francis is the support we have for one another. It’s all about the teamwork.”