For the past five years, the Night of Nursing event has been one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year for nursing students and alumni alike. This year was no exception. Two weeks ago, more than 400 BYU alumni across the country came together to network, reminisce, and hear from former BYU nursing faculty member, Sister Barbara Perry. With participants at 40 different locations across the country tuning in to hear Sister Perry’s remarks, this year’s event was easily the largest Night of Nursing event in the history of the College.
“Nursing and nurses have had a role in my life since it began,” Sister Perry shared.
Many alumni may not have been aware that Sister Perry is actually a distinguished nursing professional. A graduate of the LDS Hospital School of Nursing, Sister Perry spent 15 years at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. During her time there, she eventually became the head nurse of a busy Labor and Delivery unit that averaged 500 deliveries per month (about 17 babies per day).
“Because of my preparation and experience in labor and delivery, it was always a special blessing to be there with family and friends, as new life came,” she recalled. “It never became routine and it was always a thrill.”
After more than a decade at LDS Hospital, Sister Perry accepted a teaching position at her alma mater, where she taught associate-level nursing courses for four years. During this time, she met and married Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“I will be forever grateful for my nursing education and experience that allowed me to provide the necessary care for my dearest patients,” Sister Perry said. In the years following her marriage, Sister Perry not only used her nursing skills to care for her late husband but also her parents, who required extensive care during the final years of their lives.
“I wish you success in your careers as nurses, for those who are already nurses and for those who are becoming,” she concluded. “It’s a great profession, it gives you a lot of opportunities for different work experiences, different time shifts and it will bless your lives. I pray that you will go forward and enjoy and appreciate the blessings of such a profession.
A full recording of Sister Perry’s remarks is available on the BYU College of Nursing Facebook Page