Yale Nursing Faculty Share Advice, Warm Wishes for Class of 2023

May 17, 2023

The Yale School of Nursing (YSN) Class of 2023 will soon launch their careers across the country and around the world. With that in mind, YSN faculty are sharing their best advice for the next generation of Yale nurses, midwives, and nurse scientists ahead of Commencement on May 22.

Nicole Colline, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Senior Lecturer in Nursing
Specialty Director for Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program

You’ve done it. You have conquered what millions dream of, yet most don’t have the privilege to chase. You have overcome adversities, broken barriers, challenged your innermost thoughts and beliefs, stepped outside comfort zones, and soared academically. Through the laughter and the tears, the hugs, and the departures, you have left your mark at YSN. Now it is time to change the world. 

Always be present: patients see you, they feel you, they need you. Listen: you may be the only person who hears them. Empathize: people deserve to feel understood. Hold their hand: it may be the only warmth they’ve felt in decades. Explain the obvious, for knowledge is power. 

Admit your faults, for honest providers are trustworthy providers. Be real, be kind, be human. Smile. Go the extra mile, as someone’s life may depend on it. Be unapologetically you. Stand up for what is right. Advocate for change — become politically active. The road less traveled may afford you personal and professional growth — seek new opportunities, yet relish the ones you’re immersed in. 

Remember that you are human: lean on family and friends, feel your emotions, listen to your gut, trust your instincts. Nursing is a calling. You have answered. YSN has paved the path for your success. Now it is time to fly.

Lecturer in Nursing
Specialty Co-Director for Psychiatric Mental Health 

Dear nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives: you are gifts to the world. Each day, you walk alongside others and help carry their toughest day, their greatest fear, their pain, their heartache, and their hopes. Long after our interactions, people and families will remember the nurses who stood beside them in these vulnerable moments.  As a healer, you are part of a strong web of nurses who have come before you. Lean on, learn from, and lift each other up in this work of caring for humans. 

Be uncompromising in supporting nursing’s core values of dignity, autonomy, integrity, altruism, and social justice as you raise the voices of the people and populations in your care. And at long last, when you finally sit down, take care of yourself with the same empathy and tremendous skill in which you care for others.

Mary-Ann Cyr ’90 MSN APRN, ACNP-BC
Senior Lecturer in Nursing

On the first day we met, I described how excited I was that you chose a career with endless opportunities. Throughout our classes, I repeatedly advised you to always keep your eyes wide open, question anything that just didn’t fit, and keep asking yourself: “How do I want to be wrong?”  

I believed this advice would assist you in becoming an expert clinician. 

The true key to success, however, is remaining passionate about your work. Let the passion you have today guide you through every interaction you will have with your patients, coworkers, and colleagues as you assume the extremely rewarding role of APRN.

S. Raquel Ramos, PhD, MBA, MSN, FNP, FNYAM, FAHA
Associate Professor

As a nurse, always bring your best self to work. Work authentically by loving what you do. Always ask questions, and be receptive to feedback. Lead by example, and work as a team.

Mary Ann Camilleri, JD, BSN, RN, FACHE
Senior Lecturer in Nursing
Director of the Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program

Completing the DNP degree in Leadership, Systems and Policy is a distinction that will present opportunities and new challenges.  It is also a deep obligation, a calling, to carry forward YSN’s mission of better health for all people. 

The post-Covid healthcare environment underscores the need for healthcare that is inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. The demand for visionary, inclusive, and principled leaders could not be greater. Several of you have already answered the call to assume greater responsibility in leadership, and others are carefully considering next steps. 

As you advance, use your power compassionately, humbly, and always for the benefit of others. Remember that your success is defined not only by what you accomplish, but how you accomplish it — with kindness, moral courage, and respect for all people.  If you do so, there will be no need to chase rewards, the rewards will follow.

Hermine Poghosyan, PhD, MPH, BSN
Associate Professor 

My warmest congratulations on your graduation and well-deserved success. As we know, nursing is the nation’s largest and most trusted healthcare profession. At Yale School of Nursing, you have been trained as educators and leaders in patient care, research, and policy. You will provide high-quality, timely, and equitable care to everyone, and help our country achieve health equity. You will conduct cutting-edge research that will innovate patient care and how health care is delivered today and in the future. You will be involved in designing policies that will help our country continuously improve health care services. 

I am sure today will be one of the many amazing and successful moments for you. Congratulations today, and my best wishes for all your tomorrows and next adventures!