Chairman of the Board of Governors, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College & Chief Nursing Officer - Mrs. Audrey Gilkes Chief Medical Officer – Dr St. Clair Thomas
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors – Mr. Reuben Robinson and Members of the Board of Directors - St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health & Environment - Mr. Lanceford Weekes Dean of the Division of Nursing Education - Sr. Susanna Providence Dean of the Division of Teacher Education – Mrs. Eula Adams Dean of the Division of Technical and Vocational Education – Mr. Joseph Mapp Dean of the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies – Mrs. Rosa Vanloo President of the Division of Nursing Education Students’ Association – Mr. Tian McNichols Senior Nurses, Retired and Practicing Nurses
Other Specially invited guests
Relatives, Friends and Well wishers
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen........Good afternoon.
I am humbled yet honored to have been given this opportunity to speak at this Annual Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony this afternoon being aware that there are a lot of qualified and competent health officials in St.Vincent and the Grenadines who are sitting right before me. I remember that it was a few months ago when I visited this prestigious institution on the eve of regional exams. I can distinctly remember seeing faces of anxiety, fear and uncertainty due to the fact that many of you graduands thought that you were unprepared for such an unpredictable exam. I can recall emphasizing the point that with your sincere effort and God’s help, all things would be possible, and I am therefore elated to be able to witness your graduation today. I therefore would like to congratulate you and remind you that this is just the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another with a plethora of challenges and opportunities. As I look at your theme, ‘Moving Beyond limits towards a healthier nation,’ two words jump out at me, ‘limits’ and ‘healthier’. Let’s look at the word ‘limits’ first. Moving beyond limits seems to suggest breaking away from the status quo, the ordinary or being average. It means using the little that you have available to accomplish more than is expected. Serena Young was paralyzed from the day that she was born in 1955. She was crippled, but her mind was not. After several doctors attempted to give her a semblance of a normal life and failed, her family moved her to California at a state of the art Orthopaedic hospital where she spent 17 years during which she was able to gain the use of her hands. After further attempts to get her to use the rest of her body, the doctor said to her that she had gotten a bitter pill from God and that she will never be great due to her disability. She promised him that one day she will have his job. 33 years later, she is one of the top doctors in the same Orthopaedic hospital and even if she is on a wheel chair, her limitations did not impede her success and the achievement of her goals. We are living in a world plagued by limitations. We cannot go to other planets because of limitations in science and technology. There is no cure for HIV and AIDS because of limitations in medicine. Just being human is in itself a limitation. The nursing profession is therefore not immune to limitations. One of the greatest limitations which is voiced by almost every health professional is lack of resources. Nurses complain that they do not have the facilities to properly administer healthcare and therefore become complacent in carrying out their duties. I was told by a very prominent professor that success is 75% attitude. This implies that if one...