One of the hats I proudly wear is school nursing faculty at Rutgers-Camden Nursing. I have been affiliated with the school nurse certificate program since 2012. I have had the honor of teaching more than 200 school nursing students over the course of my career. Because of the proximity of my Camden City School District (CCSD) to Rutgers-Camden, I have also had the unbelievable fortune of quite a few students becoming colleagues as they transition to practice. Over the course of my time at Rutgers, I believe this has happened more than two dozen times. At this very moment, eight of my prior students are now colleagues.
Several years ago, our program went through a complete reimagination thanks to a grant through the New Jersey Nursing Initiative. We are now a graduate-level certification program with an accredited pathway to an MSN with a specialty in school nursing.
Yesterday was graduation and it included students who competed the MSN. Arcilia Ortiz, one of my former students and now a CCSD colleague gave one of the commencement speeches. I was not able to attend because it was during the school day, but she shared her talk with me and gave permission to share it with you. I am so proud of Arcilia and Carolyn Jarmain, another student turned colleague who graduated!
Thank you Carolyn Corbi for introducing me to “Never One Thing” by May Erlewine. In her commencement speech, Arcilia exemplifies every part of this song and reminds us that we are ‘Never One Thing’ at all. We are all things wrapped into this one precious and wild life.
I appreciate all of the students past and present who have I have shared class or practicum time with over the years. I have learned much from each and every one of my students. Remember we are ‘Never One Thing.’