Whether today marks your first graduation, your second, or even your third, I urge you to stop and appreciate all that you have done to reach this moment. While we had planned to celebrate this milestone and your significant accomplishments in the GW Smith Center today, we must instead be diligent in our commitment to community health and maintain social distance. But although we’re apart today, we are together in spirit and purpose. With the onset of this global pandemic, I am reminded daily of the great impact nurses and health care providers have on society and it makes me proud. While circumstances are not ideal, I hope that today still brings great joy for you, your family and friends, as we celebrate your graduation virtually.
As we mark this day, I do hope that you will reflect on your time at GW Nursing. You spent countless hours absorbing new knowledge and skills, questioning and debating ideas, and learning from your faculty and fellow students. At a time where competent and compassionate healthcare providers are needed more than ever, we are honored to have played such an important role in preparing you for the next stage of your nursing career.
In the coming days and weeks, some of you will be starting at the bedside; others will move into advanced practice nursing, academe or leadership roles. Regardless of the position title or setting, our graduates are known to represent the best of the profession. In recognition of some of these outstanding members of our community, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of GW Nursing this year by honoring 10 alumni with the Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. It was important to us to acknowledge your colleagues whose professional accomplishments have significantly contributed to the advancement of nurses and nursing. I know that each of you will continue to uphold this tradition of excellence.
The faculty and staff at the George Washington University School of Nursing remain proud of you, your accomplishments thus far, as well as your promise for future impact. We wish you only the best, and hope to hear from you soon and often.