Symbolic hand over of doctoral degree |18 October 2021
‘l learned to commit myself with patience to something’ – Dr Gylian Mein
On Saturday afternoon, it was a special moment for Gylian Mein. She was honoured by the Minister for Health Peggy Vidot, her family and her colleagues with a symbolic hand over of a doctoral degree in nursing practice.
It was earlier last week that the Minister of Health informed the media that Seychelles’ chief nursing officer Gylian Mein has been awarded a professional doctoral degree with distinction by the Chamberlain University of Illinois, USA, following a three-year study. It marked the first time any nurse in Seychelles has been awarded such a high professional qualification and recognition.
Surrounded by her four children during the symbolic handover of her degree, Dr Mein thanked them for their unending love and support throughout this journey.
“Each one of you supported me in your own unique way. I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Professor Terri, my primary supervisor, who believed in my ability to complete this programme. I am eternally grateful for her unwavering support, guidance, and constant optimism and encouragement throughout this long journey with all of its ‘ups and downs’,” expressed emotionally the new PHD graduate.
Dr Mein also had good words for the Ministry of Health who allowed her to continue her studies and even the taxpayers for contributing towards this.
Speaking about her studies, Dr. Mein shared that “my final year in the programme was tough and unforgiving, especially when Covid-19 struck. Covid-19 took precedence over my studies but I had to make time each day to complete and submit my weekly assignments, ensure that I did not miss any weekly class, organise virtual presentations, video conferencing with the professors, peer review on discussion boards, and so much more. However, during those difficult times I discovered three ideals that I will carry with me everywhere I go: Passion, Commitment, and Loyalty.”
About passion, she noted: “l learned to dedicate my life to a passion, no matter where I head in the future and to find the thing I love and have fun doing. When the hours got long and I felt all the troubles would never end… my passion was there to keep driving me forward with purpose and perseverance.”
About commitment, she noted: “l learned to commit myself with patience to something. No matter how long it took, I stuck with the task – not just with the highs but also with the lows... Sometimes in life we may hit the wall, other times the wall will hit us harder. However, whatever we want in life, we must be willing to work hard to get it. We must be willing to show true commitment. And this I learned. And this I did.”
And about loyalty, Dr Mein said: “I learned to remember to be loyal to myself and to my core values. To have the courage to stand by my beliefs. Through the fulfillment of the requirements of this degree, these lessons I have learnt and I will now pass them on.
“To my dear nursing colleagues, let us all find strength in overcoming obstacles. Although obstacles may cause pain and hardship, they must not keep us from accomplishing our dreams. Let us make the most out of everything that life and the world have in store for us. These are our launching pads. Now, let us use them to take the flight!
“I do hope I will be a source of inspiration for all nurses. God has given me the opportunity to pave the way. I will now do my very best to be worthy of God's will and God’s calling to help elevate nursing-practice in Seychelles.”
Rosie-Bistoquet, President of the Nurses Association, in her keynote address remarked that this is a unique event in the nursing profession in Seychelles and commended Ms Mein.
“Namely for a colleague nurse, midwife Gylian Mein to have pursued successfully a PhD/doctor of midwifery practice degree, while fully employed. This is a simulator to all nurses and midwives in Seychelles especially the student nurses and midwives that nursing and midwifery continuous learning is paramount to ensure quality nursing and midwifery care.”
Mrs Bistoquet also talked about the current and future changes in the health care system and practice of Seychelles environments which requires profound changes in the education of nursing and midwifery practices.
“More than ever the pandemic has caused increasing challenges for healthcare professionals globally. All countries including Seychelles are seeking competent professionals to assume the diverse roles exercised by the nurses in primary, secondary and tertiary health care. With e-teaching and e-learning, today we are witnessing the outcome of such diversity in midwifery teaching and learning through the graduation of one of our midwife colleagues. Therefore, I will urge the nursing/midwifery education to continue to serve as a platform for continued lifelong learning and include opportunities for seamless transition to higher degree programmes of the professions.”
Congratulating Ms Mein on her achievement Minister Vidot recalled how Gylian Mein started her adventure at the NIHSS in 1982 as a young and shy student at the beginning.
“But soon we could hear her laughter echoing the corridors of the school. She was my student, my nurse and my friend. One of her main characteristics is to be able to help others and the love and patience she has for her patients. It took years of hard work and dedication to achieve this success. As a nurse leader, she had the self-confidence to believe that she could make a difference, this is what she did. This profession needs leaders – leaders who have the professional and academic experience to move the profession forward but most importantly we need to make the nursing voice resonate in the different forums where nursing can make a difference. As we celebrate you today, you make us very proud and this comes with expectations such as to be the advocate for the nursing profession.”
Minister Vidot sent a message to all nurses in Seychelles and told them they are leaders and challenge them to move forward in their professional careers.
The event was also attended by Dr Bernard Valentin, principal secretary for Health; Dr Jude Gédéon, Public Health Commissioner; Dr Danny Louange, chief executive of the Health Care Agency and colleagues of Dr Mein.
Once again, Seychelles NATION congratulates Dr Gylian Mein on her achievement.
The accompanying photos show highlights of the ceremony.
Photos by Jude Morel