Registered nurse (RN) and Class of 2021 bachelor of nursing graduate Raquel Morgan immediately put in a vacation request when she found out that Memorial University’s postponed convocation was scheduled for June 22, 2022.
“I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a long time,” said Ms. Morgan, who practises at the Labrador Health Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. “Making the trip back home to St. John’s, where I’m based in Labrador now, just makes the event that much more special.”
The June 22 convocation is also pretty exciting for her family, she says who’ve been planning for her big day, and wanting to do something extra special.
“It was definitely upsetting when my classmates and I could not have a proper celebration, say our goodbyes and wish everyone good luck in starting new careers,” said Ms. Morgan. “I grew so close to many of my classmates, as you can expect since together we put our blood, sweat and tears into getting our degree! We spent many all-nighters and sleepovers just so we could quiz each other.”
Many of her classmates also put in requests for a little time off so they could have their moment crossing the stage in caps and gowns.
“While I stayed in touch with my classmates, it definitely isn’t the same as seeing each other in person,” she said. “So you can say I’m itching to see them now!”
On the front lines of the pandemic
The past two years of the pandemic have been difficult for everyone, but it’s been particularly difficult for new nursing graduates.
Not only were they unable to celebrate the major life milestone that is university graduation, they ended up in the thick of dealing with COVID-19 and helping to respond to delayed surgeries and medical procedures.
In spite of complications created by the pandemic, students were able to complete their programs because of the extraordinary efforts of faculty and staff in the Faculty of Nursing, who also made sure that clinical placements could go ahead.
Ms. Morgan went to southern Labrador for her community rotation. It turned out to be an excellent move.
“It was my first time in Labrador and I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I was determined to make the experience a great one, and it was! I’ve made so many great and long-lasting friendships with people in the small community of Fox Harbour (St. Lewis) and consider them family now.”
In fact, that experience led to Ms. Morgan accepting the position in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
“It was the best move for me. And I am enjoying living, working and learning up here every day.”
Ms. Morgan and her fellow bachelor of nursing graduates will cross the stage at the Mary Brown’s Centre during the afternoon session of convocation on Wednesday, June 22.