It is quite a poignant life changing and affirming moment for everyone involved. Of course, there are instances were qualification is problematic, but this is about the +ve.
For the student of course, this represents a great achievement and the realisation of the responsibilities that suddenly apply. This is tempered by preceptorship as mentor and sign-off mentors remind and reassure.
Our students have jobs and this is heartening to hear. They really are off and up-and-running.
There are graduation celebrations and parties to follow for them, but this past week I wondered about another way to signify this literally professional defining event. A way that accompanies and yet transcends the final page 'sign-off' that clearly does carry volumes of meaning and learning.
There was a fleeting thought that I shared: should I form an arch with the student's mentor for the student to pass through? A laugh.
Heaven forbid that this week and day should be for any student an anticlimax. Speaking of heaven there are of course pledges out there. Which also includes:
As I would like to pass on the (twinned-)baton that is Hodges' model, could there be a form of words that can reflect the entry of a new nurse into our midst; an exchange of words that captures the moment for the student, the mentors, nursing and the public we care for and with?
This may seem twee, archaic, a nod to times of formality, the sense of duty, vocation and hierarchy. This wouldn't be about hierarchy, experience yes. It would be reflexive, a dialogue between these 'professionals' that acknowledges the student's rite of passage, the present moment and the collective future of nursing, of caring and their position in time and the professions' values.