Nursing student speaking at commencement

BSN graduate Nichols will speak at the afternoon undergraduate commencement

Dianna NicholsGraduation is a time for reflection on the past and preparation for the road ahead. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s afternoon undergraduate commencement on April 27, UAB School of Nursing student Dianna Nichols will address her fellow graduates and hopes to encourage everyone to pursue their goals.

“The privilege to speak on behalf of our graduating class is something I have not taken lightly,” said Nichols, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. “We are all at a pivotal moment in our lives as we prepare to embark on a new chapter, and I want to take this opportunity to encourage my classmates to dream big and pursue their passions.”

Each year, the schools within UAB nominate one student to be commencement speaker. The nominees then fulfill an interview process before a finalist is selected.

Nichols is a nursing honors student and has received multiple scholarships and honors during her time at the UAB School of Nursing, including the UAB Collegiate Honors Scholarship, Board of Visitors Endowed Nursing Scholarship, Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship, Francis S. Falkenburg Endowed Nursing Scholarship, Ruth Tonn Ahrgal Endowed Nursing Scholarship, is a Dean’s Nursing Scholar and member of Sigma, the nursing honor society.

Following graduation, Nichols will work as a registered nurse in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) at UAB Hospital. Through this job, Nichols said she is fulfilling a dream and career goal she has had since high school.

Dianna Nichols headshotShe also plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the School’s Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

“I have always thought I would pursue the nurse practitioner route, but since participating in the UAB School of Nursing’s Honors Program, I have grown to love research,” Nichols said. “Now, career paths as a nurse practitioner and nurse scientist both interest me, and it is just a matter of narrowing down the path I want to take.”

While graduation is a bittersweet time, Nichols said she looks forward to the future before her. The UAB School of Nursing provided her with the support and education needed to become a successful student and registered nurse, and the environment provided her with lifelong friends.

“There’s a special bond that you form with fellow nursing students,” Nichols said. “Everything from tears shed in the hallway following skills validations and late-night study sessions, to now celebrating each other accepting their dream jobs. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to attend UAB’s School of Nursing and have thoroughly loved my time here. I know life will be different after graduation, but I am so excited for myself and my fellow classmates to begin pursuing our goals and aspirations.”

Undergraduate commencement takes place Saturday, April 27 in Bartow Arena.

Last modified on June 12, 2019

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