HOPE – Hope Public Schools District Nurse Renee Sells, BSE, RN, set the tone and direction for the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana LPN and Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium Fall, 2018, classes during recent pinning ceremonies at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas – Hope campus.
“I come to you with the wisdom of time, and at this moment in time, in the year 2018, we celebrate your academic achievement,” Sells said, reflecting upon her 35 years as a nurse.
Sells holds a BSE in Nursing, is an RN, and she is the district nurse for the Hope Public Schools, supervising student care across the five campuses in the district. She is also the House Supervisor for Wadley Regional Medical Center – Hope.
She acknowledged the students in each of the two programs, noting their age ranges from 20-37 in the Licensed Professional Nursing program to 22-51 in the ARNEC Registered Nursing program.
Recognizing that students in both programs come from across the Four States Region of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana, Sells said the graduates understood the nature of sacrifice for knowledge.
“I encourage each of you to strive to be a continual learner,” she said. “Lifelong learning does not end at graduation from LPN school.”
Sells noted the critical need for advanced nursing skills.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at this very moment the U.S. is experiencing a growing shortage of Registered Nurses, which is expected to continue,” she said. “It was predicted 1.2 million vacancies would emerge for Registered Nurses from 2014 through 2022. Therefore, the demand is dramatically outpacing the supply.”
Sells admonished the graduates to remain resilient in the face of changes in medical care and the workplace.
“Resilience is of significance to the prudent nurse; let that marinate for a second,” she said.
Sells encouraged the graduates to become resilient through adaptability to change; life-long learning through Nurse Educator, Nurse Anesthetist, and Nurse Practitioner studies; remaining mentally and physically resilient by avoiding burnout; and, demonstrating compassion in pursuit of patient care.
“Remember, you will be with patients from birth until the end of life,” Sells said. “You must provide compassionate care, kindness and comfort. When you are at the bedside, or wherever you are with a patient or family in crisis, you are God-appointed to be there at that point and time.”
Sells invoked the mother of nursing, Florence Nightingale.
“In closing, as the nurse of yesterday and today, I pass the lamp of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, to each of you the nurses of tomorrow,” she said.
The ceremonies advanced 18 UAHT graduates to LPN status and 36 ARNEC graduates to RN status.