On Thursday, Jan. 12, West Suburban Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Maria Suvacarov, MSN, FNP, CCRN, NE-BC, served as the keynote speaker at Chamberlain University’s nursing program graduation ceremony.
“I was honored to speak to the graduating class. I feel passionate about nursing and education. Being able to share my experiences and lessons learned will better prepare them as they transition from students to nurses,” said Suvacarov.
The 2023 graduating class included 312 BSN candidates from across Chamberlain University’s three campuses located in Chicago, Addison, and Tinley Park. The graduation ceremony took place at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, IL.
Suvacarov delivered a moving speech that included her personal journey from Macedonia to the United States, the many obstacles her family faced, and her life-changing decision to pursue nursing.
“I came to this country when I was 19. I had just graduated from high school and came here with great dreams and aspirations. We arrived with two suitcases in our hands, did not speak the language, did not have a driver’s license and had very few friends,” shared Suvacarov.
A nurse friend suggested Suvacarov earn her ADN, start working to save money, and then go back for her nursing degree. “I took her advice and that was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she added.
Suvacarov also introduced new graduates to the “Mom Test.” She encouraged graduates to treat each patient as if they were their mom and make a personal connection with patients every day. Additionally, she urged the future nurses to take care of their own wellbeing. “Choose to be positive. Choose to be happy,” she said.
As students crossed the stage to signify the beginning of a new journey, Suvacarov expressed her excitement for their accomplishments and bright future. She also reflected on their diversity. “This is the most diverse population of students I’ve seen. That’s a good thing,” she said.