National University

Nursing Graduates Attend Pinning Ceremony

The Department of Nursing held a pinning ceremony for Nursing Cohort 24 on August 16, partaking in a tradition that dates back to the 12th Century.

Approximately 35 graduates who have earned a Bachelor of Science of Nursing gathered at Green Gables Estates in San Marcos, California to partake in a rite of passage that started during the Crusades among the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, who took a vow to tend to the sick and injured. The modern ceremony dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her service during the Crimean War.

“It’s a big deal,” said keynote speaker Assistant Professor Ann Kelly, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, RN. “I still remember my pinning, and that was over 42 years ago.”  Today, the pinning ceremony is widely considered to be the official initiation into the profession of nursing.

Assistant Clinical Professor Richard Guertin, DHA, RN, MSN, CHCE provided introductory comments and lead the graduates in the Florence Nightingale Pledge, in which they devote themselves to the welfare of those committed to their care. Graduate Luke Wingo was the valedictorian. Awards were passed out to several members of Cohort 24, including Navy Chief Lita Edmond, who was presented with the Hippensteel Award. 

Dr. Michael Lacourse, Dean of the School of Health and Human Services, gave the closing remarks, and the new nurses then celebrated and enjoyed refreshments with family and friends. The Nursing Department expressed gratitude to Melissa Abad, Cheryl Areson, Jennifer Byran, Shannon Clay, Shannon Flaherty, Carol Landry, Michele Olive, Eric Ordona, Angela Schoon, Megan Wickline and volunteers from Cohort 25 for helping to organize the ceremony. 

Special thanks were also offered to clinical affiliates, including Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Rady Children’s Hospital, Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Memorial Hospital, Sharp Healthcare, Palomar Medical Center/Pomerado Hospital, TriCity Medical Center, and Scripps Encinitas and Scripps Mercy Hospitals.