Dear Nursing Student Susan,
You will see things that you want to question and improve, such as communication with patients and families and ways to improve processes. My advice to you is to have patience and work with leadership to identify new ways to improve. You’ll tend to be direct, but learning to be diplomatic will serve your mission better. You have a knack for seeing needs; focus on what you can do to help others see what you see. You’ll see patients and families need constant reassurance, education about illnesses, medications and what to do next. Nursing professionals need those same things – reassurance, reinforcing education (because healthcare is constantly changing!) and help navigating a complex workplace. As an RN, you set the tone and will help your teams understand priorities. Teaching teams how best to work together is a big part of your role. One way to change the healthcare system and impact outcomes for patients is to learn as much as you can about leadership. Read everything you can, advance your education and organizational change. You are a natural leader; you will be called upon early to lead large groups of caregivers and team members. It's your love and dedication to community that will help you lead because people will see that your heart is in it. Create a bucket list early and work on the things that are most important to you! Lastly, my advice to you, young Susan, is to have fun along the way. Life is short and balance is essential. Do not put off the family trips, visit Mom often and be there when they need you. You will be successful at work, so don’t worry much about what other people think. Take time for yourself, learn healthy lifestyles and have more fun!
Susan Peach, RN, BSN, MBA
The days ahead will be filled with exciting things. You will encounter opportunities that offer great joy, but also moments that bring you sorrow and heartache. The trick will be learning how to navigate each as they occur and moving on to the next when your heart is ready. Educate yourself but also allow yourself space to be curious. Your education is something no one can ever take away from you. Take time to learn whenever you can and from whoever you can. Explore new places, take trips, ask questions, chase the sense of wonder that you have. Study abroad. Live in new places. Take the time to get to know people and ask them questions. Learn their why, their story and their passions. People are absolutely fascinating. When you walk into a room of people you don’t know, choose the uncomfortable and sit with the stranger. Give compliments to break the ice, but mean what you say. Don’t ever forget to smile. Much of life will feel like a race to the end of that day. Don’t wish time away as you can’t get it back once it’s gone. Don’t wait to tell someone how you feel and don’t wait for the perfect moment; it arrives every morning and it may not come again. Take chances. Celebrate everything. The time you have with your parents is precious. Get to know them, ask them about their childhood, their dreams and their favorite memories. Document things and don’t wait to do it. Call and go visit--often. Always put yourself first. Love yourself along the way. And, if you want something, go and get it. Put in the work and make it happen. Lastly, never forget that passion is powerful; let it shine. And, when all else fails, love more.
Kim Baker, CEO, Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce
Dear Young Jordyn Marie,
You will be a force to be reckoned with. You were born with an unfair stack of odds built against you, but you will defy them all. You will be tough in a many ways but very soft when you need to. Whatever the world does to you don't lose heart knowing when to love somebody through their darkness. Your heart will be used against you in life--have one anyway. Your failures in life will drive you to succeed. Success will be easy for you because you know too well what the other side looks like. You will learn loss way too early in life. Appreciate your mom for what she is and love her to the end. Learn everything you can from your grandparents while you still have them. You will make a lot of mistakes, own them, and do better next time. You will walk through some very dark valleys and one day you will turn around and see that Jesus walked beside you through all of them. He will bless you with a best friend that you get lucky enough to call your husband and two kids that put air in your lungs everyday. Take pictures, so many of them! Enjoy the days with no plans. Start praying for your kids' spouses the day they are born. Don't waste the days worrying about wanting more--you have everything your heart needs. Be intentional with everyone you can--it will mean more to them than you know. People will want you to fall. Love them anyway. Don't be afraid to be loud or courageous or brave when you are commanded to be. There will be times in life where you stand alone--stand anyway. God created you to shine and, you, Jordyn, will do just that.
Jordyn Clark, entrepreneur & owner of Studio 1:9