Dear Gator Nurses,
My husband, Denny, and I have recently returned from a cool summer on the shores of Lake Michigan, where we continue to improve our little cabin in the woods. My Michigan summer was shortened as I returned to Tampa in July for the birth of our newest granddaughter, Claire Joy Rodebush. After some minor complications and a few days in the NICU, mom and baby were discharged home and the work of new parenting began. The nurses we met along the journey were caring and competent and reminded me again of the critical role nurses play when our loved ones are most vulnerable. Every encounter, treatment, hug and moment spent in education makes the lives of our patients and families that much better. I was filled with pride for the care delivered to our family.
Fall also brings so many fun memories of back-to-school activities and, of course, GATOR football! What a great weekend making Gator Nursing memories we experienced at this year’s College of Nursing alumni weekend in Gainesville Sept. 20-21. Thirty members of the Alumni Council met to discuss plans to support ongoing Gator Nursing activities throughout 2020. On Saturday, more than 200 guests enjoyed meeting with old and new friends at the reunion tailgate brunch before UF’s victory over Tennessee at the football game.
A highlight of the weekend was meeting the recipients of the Alumni Council Book Award and hearing their inspiring stories of perseverance, tenacity and care as they pursue their nursing education. New bonds of friendship were created between our alumni and upcoming nursing graduates. Whether you’re an alumnus or a student nurse, it’s clear were all dedicated to being nurses who care, lead and inspire. As I interacted with the alumni and nursing students, I realized our role as “seasoned nurses” will continue to be to mentor the CON graduates. I’m energized and my respect for the nursing educational process grows as I watch our graduates leave the University of Florida and moved into nursing roles across the country
I hope to see many of you at the Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference in Gainesville on Feb. 5. Visit dmsconference.nursing.ufl.edu to find more information about “Leadership by Design” and to register. Also look for Gator Nurse alumni gathering in the communities across Florida in the upcoming year. I’m hoping to see many of you as we continue to work together to enhance nursing care across the communities where we live and work.
Once a Gator Nurse, always a Gator Nurse! If you are interested in becoming involved with the Alumni Council, please feel free to contact me at Phrodebush@aol.com or 813-215-1122.
Go UF and go Gator Nurses!
Peggy Rodebush, BS, MSN (1985)