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Moon Festival – Evolving Traditions

Recognizing New Nurse Practitioners

The other night I was mesmerized by the harvest moon. There were low lying clouds on the horizon and clear skies above.  With majestic progress, the night moon emerged from the cloud bank — a huge, pale, apricot colored orb. The face of the man in the moon was clearly visible.  It was awe-inspiring.

The Moon Festival or the Mid-Autumn Festival, was celebrated this past week.  Three thousand years ago ancient Chinese emperors prayed to the Moon, giving thanks for good harvests and asking that they continue.  On the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, the connections between the immortals and humans were honored by recounting stories of generosity and greed; love and sacrifice; family, fertility and good harvest. In the evening, paper lanterns are set afloat on waters where the moon’s reflected light guides the spirits of loved ones to eternity.

Over the centuries it evolved into today’s mostly secular celebration of family and abundance.  Special moon cakes are consumed.  Parades with Chinese dragons 40 feet long wind through the streets.

Traditions evolve; new traditions emerge. As I thought about the Moon festival and its origins, I began to think about the emergence of traditions in NP postgraduate training.  How do we welcome new practitioners and fellow professionals to the world of postgraduate training and practice?  How do we honor their moving from high-performance training to confident practice?

During my years in medical education the white coat ceremony was one my favorite annual events.  It is generally a more intimate ceremony where the medical students wear their white coats for the first time.  The ceremony symbolizes the students’ commitment to healthcare, with the white coat serving as a sign of authority and professionalism.  What are the traditions that are emerging in NP postgraduate programs?
I would love to hear what traditions are evolving in your postgraduate training program.  What can we do to acknowledge and honor the entry of new NPs into practice?  How can we celebrate their compassion and competence; their authority and professionalism; their commitment to excellence in healthcare?  Please consider posting how you welcome and honor both new trainees and new grads.In closing, sing along with John Lennon’s song, “Instant Karma”:

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Ev’ryone you meet
Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When you’re ev’rywhere
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
On and on and on and on”

Until next time,