Winter Commencement 2022: Graduate says her nursing family, hard work have helped her succeed

Josey Lackey, '22

When Josey Lackey was a Radford University pre-nursing student, she attended meetings of the Student Nursing Organization (SNO) in hopes of one day being part of the group. Little did she know that a few years later, she would be leading it as the organization’s president while earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)

“The older nursing students were always so kind to and inclusive of the younger students like me,” Lackey recalls. “They sparked my desire to help younger nursing students feel empowered throughout their time in college and at Radford’s School of Nursing.”

Lackey says that as the President of SNO, she made a point of meeting with every incoming class of nursing students, helping them create a network of lifelong friends and establish a habit of serving local communities.

“I absolutely love championing nursing students because our world needs nurses like them — especially Radford nurses who are taught compassionate, evidence-based care from day one,” Lackey says.

As the Botetourt County, Virginia, native prepares to graduate at the Winter Commencement ceremony this month, she is reflecting on how her experiences in the nursing program have shaped her and prepared her for her career.

“I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, and I’ve worked hard to get here,” says Lackey, who maintained a 3.89 G.P.A. and built her nursing experience by working as a nursing assistant at a local hospital. “But it’s become even more to me. If I could sum it up in one word, I'd say ‘family.’ My cohort has been supportive and excited for each other, provided shoulders to lean on when dealing with personal struggles and been friends to share laughs with.”

Lackey has a job lined up after graduation in a medical ICU in Durham, North Carolina. It’s the journey to this plateau, however, that she’s focused on right now.

“I remember during the first semester of nursing school, one of my professors said that she loves to see her students have the ‘A-ha!’ moment where everything we have learned over the past two years just clicks,” Lackey says. “This semester, I had my practicum experience on a COVID-19 ICU, and I remember the moment when everything just clicked, and I felt like a true nurse. There’s no better feeling than seeing your hard work come to fruition.”

Dec 8, 2022
Mark Lambert