The Dominica nursing fraternity has grown as they welcomed eight new nurses last Thursday, as the young women were officially pinned and capped at a ceremony hosted by the Dominica State College (DSC) under the theme ‘Patience, Perseverance and Self Determination: The Keys to Success’.

Lecturer at the DSC’s faculty of Health Sciences Mrs. Ceasarina Ferrol described the ceremony as a symbolic handover of graduate nurses to the nursing profession.

“Historically the pinning ceremony is closely tied with an award given to our legendary nurse, Florence Nightingale, known as the mother of modern Nursing who was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in the 1860s for her tireless work during the Crimean war. Today the nursing pin symbolizes an educated nurse who is prepared to serve society as a health care professional and he pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of these newly graduate nurses into the nursing profession and an initiation into the sisterhood, and I daresay brotherhood, of nurses. It is also recognition from the nursing faculty and acknowledgment on the part of the graduates that they are ready for the role of a nurse,” Mrs. Ferrol stated.

Mrs. Ferrol noted that the graduating eight are the remainder of a starting class of 21. She then congratulated them for working through the challenges that they faced and making it to the end.

“Through all of this, these nursing champions remain determined to complete this training, notwithstanding the many frustrations, challenges, trials and tribulations. Out of a beginning cohort of 21 students only these eight students made it to the end. They have also become part of the history of the development of the DSC, as out of the dire need for a clinical lab to satisfy the training requirements of that group, was born the opportunity for our current state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab. On behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences I wish to congratulate each of you and to say how proud we are of you,” Mrs. Ferrol added.

Speaking to the new nurses, Director of Primary Health Care Dr. Laura Esprit reminded them that despite the challenges that they will face, they should always be compassionate and humble even while striving for excellence.

“I urge you to keep on learning and to not settle for just being a registered nurse. The sky is your limit and be reminded that the nursing fraternity has a wide scope for specialization. While a career in health care has it challenges, many who have joined before you can share with you that it is a very rewarding experience. Hence despite circumstances around you, you are reminded to always cultivate a passion for excellence; putting your best foot forward in the context of your competence, always seasoned with humility, compassion and empathy,” Dr. Esprit advised the graduates. 

Meanwhile, President of the Dominica State College Dr. Donald Peters encouraged the graduates “to be the Florence Nightingale of the 21st century.”

“I am therefore counting on you, my dear nurses, to be the new vanguard for restoring the faith and trust of the nation in our nurses. Don’t be afraid to serve your patients with sensitivity, respect and dignity.  Those values, if practiced and observed consistently will help save lives. You have got a good education, we are proud of you, so thank you. Go out there and make you patients happy and make DSC proud,” Dr. Peters added.