PITTSFIELD, Mass. — More than 400 family members, friends, and college faculty filled the Boland Theatre on Tuesday to honor the newest nursing graduates.
"Our path to success was forged by hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrificing, and most of all, the love for what we do as nurses," graduate Theresa Carusotto told her 50 classmates at Bekshire Community College.
They're not only leaving a little bit smarter, a little more patient, and a lot more caring but also with a giant addiction to caffeine, she joked.
"In fact, I'd like to take this opportunity to make a nursing diagnosis for this cohort, severe fatigue, anxiety, stress, imbalanced nutrition and disturbed sleep pattern related to nursing school, as evidenced by the bags that are still under our eyes," she said.
Nursing is a selfless career because they "have the opportunity and the power to heal the mind, soul in the body," Carusotto said.
That ethos of selflessness and perseverance was echoed by other speakers at Tuesday's pinning ceremony, marking the end of the 51 future nurses' two-year odyssey at BCC.
Department Chair of Nursing Nicole Cerda noted all that hard work and time away from friends and familly had culminated in this moment and Dean of Nursing Lori Moon pointed the support and sacrifice from family and friends as well as the efforts of faculty and staff to aid them in attaining their associate's degree.
As the graduates are welcomed into the nursing profession, Moon sent them off with words of caution — the first year as a nurse will be overwhelming and there may be days where you ask why or if you can do this job.
"Here's the secret. Everyone feels that way as a new nurse. You're not alone … It's normal, everyone feels that way," Moon said.
She told them to never lose sight of where they are going and, no matter what, make a difference.
Nixon St. Bernard, a graduate of the program and now a nurse at Berkshire Medical Center, was the keynote speaker.
Success, he said, is not easy and every successful person has wanted to quit at some point. But if success is the realization of a worthy ideal, he continued, we know what we have to do.
St. Bernard was chosen to speak because of his willingness to work with students and his commitment to ensure that every student paired with him leaves the floor with greater knowledge.
Nursing is a unique field and so are the nurses, St. Bernard said, because they put everything into a career that is highly gratifying and also requires caring and compassion.
The graduates are ambassadors for the college, BCC President Ellen Kennedy said and she hoped they will take pride in saying they were educated at Berkshire Community College.
Carusotto concluded the evening with some words of wisdom to her classmates.
"We have the power to make a critically ill patient laugh. We have the power to teach someone with a debilitating chronic illness, how to cope. We get to share not only the beginning of a life, but the end of a life. We will be able to listen to our patients' past stories of their lives and hobbies, even though they might not have the strength to do them anymore," she said.
"I'm confident that I'm on stage with nurses that will push boundaries, strive to make a difference and do the best they can to prepare for their patients, even when sometimes there's no thanks at the end."
Professionalism in Nursing: Cassidy Kendall
Clinical Excellence in Nursing: Page Houser
Academic Excellence in Nursing: Melissa Phillips
Bette B. Everson Memorial Nursing Award: Melissa Phillips
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Dalton on Search for New Fire Chief
By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
DALTON, Mass. — Chris Cachat will continue as acting fire chief as the Board of Water Commissioners determines its next steps.
Cachat, the assistant chief, stepped in three weeks ago when James Peltier was placed on administrative leave. Peltier was fired last week for what the commissioners said were personnel complaints and for overspending his budget.
Commission Chair James Driscoll said at Tuesday's meeting it could take the department a couple of weeks to a couple of months to find a replacement.
Hiring from outside the department search could take longer.
These kits include outlet covers, a rubber duck that ensure that bath water is at the right temperature, and pamphlets with tips for new mothers after being discharged from the hospital.
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