Pictures: 52 nurses graduate from CUH, 'ready for anything'

The group of general nursing interns attended their Blessing of the Hands graduation ceremony in the CUH Chapel following a 36-week internship on the clinical wards of the hospital.
Pictures: 52 nurses graduate from CUH, 'ready for anything'

Student nurses who graduated from Cork University Hospital.Picture Denis Minihane.

AFTER four tough years which included everything from a pandemic to a cyber-attack, 52 new nurses graduated at Cork University Hospital yesterday, resilient from the challenges they have faced, and hopeful for the future.

The group of general nursing interns attended their Blessing of the Hands graduation ceremony in the CUH Chapel following a 36-week internship on the clinical wards of the hospital.

Student nurses Chloe Quinn (left) and Lyndsey Nodwell who graduated from Cork University Hospital.Picture Denis Minihane.
Student nurses Chloe Quinn (left) and Lyndsey Nodwell who graduated from Cork University Hospital.Picture Denis Minihane.

Katie Neville, clinical placement co-ordinator for the group, said that throughout their internship they were “always advocating for the patient” and rising to challenges put before them.

“They had cyberattacks, they had Covid, they’ve had red weather alerts... they’ve had a tough time… but they totally rose to the challenge. This group are always asking what’s the next challenge, where are we going next, and it’s a lovely to be a mentor to that,” she said.

Gathered with other graduates after the ceremony, Chioma Okoye said “perseverance” is the word that sums up the last four years, as she plans to stay working in CUH for the time being.

“We have shown a lot of resilience. For me particularly, it’s been a persevering experience. There was a lot of challenges, but we didn’t give up, we didn’t quit, we kept going and now we’re here today,” she said.

Student nurse Ell-Marie Kelleher, who graduated from Cork University Hospital, with her parents Kieran and Sheila.Picture Denis Minihane.
Student nurse Ell-Marie Kelleher, who graduated from Cork University Hospital, with her parents Kieran and Sheila.Picture Denis Minihane.

One of three male graduates, and also planning to stay on in CUH, David Buckley said that although he is delighted to qualify, he hopes that nursing will in time become a more respected profession.

“Nurses are underappreciated and underpaid, and student nurses especially worked so hard on placements, on the front lines of Covid wards, and got very little gratitude for it... We have good colleagues and support each other and only for them we wouldn’t be able to do it,” he said.

Graduate Megan Carty said that the rewards that come with being a nurse have made it all worth it.

Student nurse Sophie Madigan, who graduated from Cork University Hospital, with her parents Julianne and Liam.Picture Denis Minihane.
Student nurse Sophie Madigan, who graduated from Cork University Hospital, with her parents Julianne and Liam.Picture Denis Minihane.

“Caring for people and being there, seeing them at their worst, and then when they come out of it at their best, it’s so rewarding all the time, and you see something different and interesting every single day,” she said.

Ciara Stack, who delivered a speech on behalf of her classmates at the graduation ceremony, said that they all now feel “ready for anything”.

“I think it was a tougher four years than we anticipated because of Covid thrown into the mix, but I think it makes our graduation all the sweeter. 

Student nurses (from left) Katie Curtin, Gerard Reidy and Caoilfhinn Connick who graduated from Cork University Hospital.Picture Denis Minihane.
Student nurses (from left) Katie Curtin, Gerard Reidy and Caoilfhinn Connick who graduated from Cork University Hospital.Picture Denis Minihane.

"Knowing that we’ve become so resilient coming back after Covid, and that we’ve made such great friends here, I think graduating now we know that we can face anything that comes in our way,” she said.

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