By Daniel R. Smith
Daniel Smith speaking at August 2018 convocation.
In her general conference address, Sharon Eubank tells a story of how two innovative onlookers used their light to save the lives of two young boys caught in a rip current in Panama City Beach in Florida. As soon as Roberta Ursrey saw her two young sons screaming for help 100 yards from the beach, many other people jumped in the water to save the boys. However, their attempts to rescue the boys were unsuccessful and soon there were nine people struggling to keep their heads above the water until Jessica Simmons and her husband formed an 80-person human chain to save the others. It must have been amazing to see all those strangers coming together to help in that rescue. In order for this rescue to be a success, someone had to be different and raise their voice. Someone had to turn on their light. This is what we have been taught in Brigham Young University’s College of Nursing.
Through different channels we all decided to become nurses. This idea became a dream, which will soon become reality, and has in so many ways already become a calling for us. As we have learned the Healer’s Art, each of us has learned to turn on his or her light.
Each of us celebrated as we read our acceptance letters. With each semester that passed, our competitive natures changed from “How can I survive in this class?” to “How can we help each other?” to “How can I learn the Healer’s art to better care for my patients?”
We have all made sacrifices and seen success while learning the Healer’s Art. We have learned to celebrate with those that need celebrating and lift up others going through difficult circumstances. This is the heart of nursing.
One of the unique things about nursing is that it allows for us to choose from a variety of different fields in which we may turn on that light. Each of us will take different paths to find our niche. Some of us will end up in long-term care, medical/surgical units, pediatrics, labor and delivery, emergency care, intensive care, management, advanced practice, and many other areas. No matter which specialty we end up in, we will all spend the years to come developing the Healer’s Art.
Healing goes beyond fixing a medical diagnosis. BYU has taught us to help others heal spiritually, mentally, and emotionally as well as physically.
Nurses are special people. Though few in numbers, their light is a great influence that shines throughout the world. I would go as far to say that everyone in this room has been effected in some way by a nurse.
For me, it was a nurse that told me I could run that half marathon two-and-a-half weeks after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
It was nurses that got my wife and me through the difficult week that my wife was hospitalized due to complications in her pregnancy. And it was my fellow nursing students that helped support me in the months that followed.
Nurses are like light houses in the storm. They care, guide, and give hope. It is my hope that each of us lets our lights so shine as we go into the nursing profession.
Congratulations class of 2018!
Daniel Smith spoke at the August 2018 college convocation.