My Date in New York May 30th


Hosack Hall

Hosack Hall is the auditorium of the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in Manhattan will  conduct their 2012 commencement there. May 30th. 1 PM.

I was honored to receive the request to be their speaker. Fired up, if you really need to know. I learn more about the school, and it’s a gem of New York City. The affiliated hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, has an inspiring history, associated with the social activism of Lillian Wald and others working on the legendary Lower East Side. This year the PBISN marks it’s 100th anniversary.  I was privileged to meet the senior class last week while in Manhattan.

the day i stopped by, the school posted this announcement for everyone, by the elevator.I had a limited time there but we had fun playing “Dear Abby” which is an icebreaker I always use. It’s simple – everyone gets a small piece of scrap paper, write “Dear Abby in the upper left hand corner, then writes a question or statement on anything, such as, “what I want to know is_____________”  Then we collect the slips of paper and I answer each one. For those teachers among my readership, try it when you have five free minutes. It’s a good way  to guage the mood of the class. I did it in twenty minutes.

The Big Question

question to my readers: what would you say if you were giving a commencement speech these days? I have got some ideas, but I am always interested to poll “the cloud”…..



Filed under nursing education, Uncategorized

4 responses to “My Date in New York May 30th

  1. mary

    Just wondering…..what’s your connection with the school? Why did they ask you? Just curious :)

    • You sound surprised. My policy is not to discuss the book much with my actual students becasue I don’t want them to feel pressured to buy it. (though now that you have graduated…….)

      When the book came out we made sure to submit our press release to the newsletters of the State Nurses Associations, including New York. Apparently, people from PBI SON read the book and shared it with their class. PBI SON also sent students to the NSNA mid-year meeting in Cincinnati Ohio, where I was the Keynote Speaker in Nov 2010. I was honored when they asked me to be their commencement speaker in 2011 but I already made plans to be in Nepal at that time. Also, when my book was first published I made several small book tours. A stop on one tour was in New York; faculty from various NYC schools of nursing were in the audience. So those may be ways they “found” me. There are three million nurses in USA, only a fraction of them have read the book, but apparently, enough.

      When I talk about my work in Nepal, I try to draw lessons as to the value of nursing and also the indomitable human spirit. There were aspects of the work that were far from glamorous, and I don’t present myself as a role model by any means, but we do all need to think about where nursing lies in the grand scheme of things, and I do present some ideas along that line of thought. Poeple have told me I am “inspiring” – whatever that means. Just this week I heard from a nursing faculty in Toronto who is now travelling to Nepal, who said I inspired her to do it. I sure hopoe things go well, I am not sure I want to be responsible for causing anybody to do anything they may regret…..

    • PS you should read my book too – it will help you answer the question Why We Do This….. It’s available on Amazon. :-D

  2. Taramuni Shakhya

    Wow! that’s great news! Let’s make some noise!!

    I am happy that more people in the west will know about the nursing situation in the country like Nepal.

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