Dear Gator Nurses,
As I begin my second and final year as the Nursing Alumni Council president, I am also preparing to embark on another major life transformation. After 43 years serving in various nursing capacities all across the United States, I will be retiring this summer from my role as chief nurse inambulatory care from the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System in Gainesville, Florida. Preparing for retirement, as you can imagine, has prompted quite a bit of reflection, and since beginning the University of Florida B.S.N. program in 1972, nursing has remained at the forefront of my life.
I believe that nurses never truly retire— once a nurse, always a nurse! Therefore, I am looking forward to expanding my service to the UF College of Nursing and the Alumni Council. I hope to meet many more Gator Nurses—like you—throughout the state and encourage your engagement with our alma mater. But I also plan to enjoy some “me time,” travel with my husband, Chuck, and spend time with family.
I am forever grateful for the education I received at the UF College of Nursing. Like many of you, being a Gator Nurse fully prepared me for a successful and satisfying career. I tell everyone I meet how appreciative I am to UF, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the College of Nursing with both my time and by financially supporting such worthwhile programs like the White Coat ceremony, the Alumni Council Book Awards program and various student and faculty initiatives.
Being a part of the Alumni Council for the past 15 years, I have also had the opportunity to meet and become close friends with some of the best in Gator Nursing. I see their impressive accomplishments (like Rodney G.B. Clements climbing Mt. Everest!) and I know they join me in their passion to support Gator Nursing.
The Alumni Council also allows me to spend time with the next generation of nurses by meeting current students through the Alumni Mentorship Program and interacting with the Gator Nurse student ambassadors at alumni events, such as Reunion Weekend and regional Gator Nurse Gatherings. We can all rest assured that nursing is in good hands with these students. I have never before seen such a hard-working group of go-getters.
Speaking of Reunion Weekend, I hope you will all join us Sept. 30 for the College of Nursing’s annual tailgate party. We have such a great time at this event. Join us for one of the only air-conditioned tailgates on campus before the Gators take on Vandy in the Swamp! Visit here to register and for more information. I hope to see you there.
Go Gator Nurses!
BarBee Emmel Geiger