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These are the Champions, a Message from Al Bahe

Al Bahe

A name is announced through the loudspeakers and cheers erupt. The blue- and yellow-clad student moves with grace, poise and confidence. At this event, however, there are no spotlights, no smoke effects and no musical fanfare as the lineup is introduced. There will be no highlights of this event on the 10 p.m. news, and you may be hard-pressed to find mention of it on social media platforms. 

This is an induction ceremony for the SDSU College of Nursing. It’s a milestone event at the beginning of each student’s professional career. Every student who is announced, cloaked in a blue coat and celebrated at the induction ceremony is being welcomed to the larger nursing community and profession of nursing. It’s the start of a journey toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree; in their first semester, students begin providing care for clients, which brings a whole new level of responsibility. 

For the next five semesters, students in each cohort will learn from, and lean on, each other. They will face simulated life-and-death situations together. They’re simulated here in a safe setting because each student will probably face a real life-and-death situation in their career as a professional nurse. Training includes hours of rigorous instruction; hours of required clinical experiences under the guidance of a preceptor and hours of learning, practicing and developing confidence and competence in using the technology and tools to provide optimal outcomes for each patient. The students will also learn more about compassion and care, not only for the patient, but also their families as part of the overall educational experience at SDSU.

Just as in athletic pursuits, there will be tears and frustration along the way. Yet there is personal commitment, dedication, drive and passion; combine that with professional faculty support and these students will be equipped with the grit and determination to face and overcome the challenges.

Never has there been more demand for highly qualified, trained nursing professionals than today. Hospitals, clinics, same-day surgery and specialty hospitals, assisted living communities and nursing homes are all looking to fill their workforce vacancies in nursing.

It’s with that in mind that SDSU is moving toward program expansion and growth. Construction is expected to start soon on an expansion of the nursing program at the Rapid City location, which is a collaborative project with Black Hills State University. There are active conversations taking place about possible growth in Sioux Falls. Our focus is always on the future with a goal of providing more nurses without compromising the high quality and integrity of SDSU’s Bachelor of Science in nursing program.

That growth and expansion comes with a cost. To paraphrase a statement often attributed to Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, we cannot equip today’s students with the knowledge and skills they will need tomorrow by using yesterday’s tools and technology.

That’s where you can become a member of THIS championship team. It takes a public/private partnership, including individuals as well as corporations, to keep the SDSU nursing program moving forward as one of the best in the nation. Every gift will do important work in training and preparing the next generation of nursing professionals. 

Upon successful completion of the five semesters in the nursing major, each student will once again have her or his name called, walk across the stage, hearing the celebratory cheers from family and friends. Each will receive a pin—a trophy, if you will. That pin is earned by countless hours in the classroom, clinical skills lab, simulation rooms and on-the-job clinical experiences. It truly is a badge of honor.

Rarely, if ever, will they be in the limelight. Their purpose is not to seek attention. Instead, these young professionals have pledged to accept a lifelong obligation to improve their professional knowledge and competence and to always be an advocate for and to protect the health, safety and rights of each patient.

That SDSU nursing pin symbolizes they are winners, dare I say, world champions. Are you willing to join our team and contribute to their success?