Abolishing the Pinning Ceremony

  1. 3
    Hi all,

    I am currently a nursing student in a BSN RN program heading into my senior year (woo hoo almost done). I have also been elected Vice President of the Student Nurses Association at my school and today I got hit with a big blow in an officers meeting!! I was advised that the ceremony to honor the culmination of all my and my peers hard work is no longer going to be celebrated; as the school has decided to do away with the pinning ceremony.

    Initially, i was at a loss from words. I remembered sitting in my very first nursing class and learning about what a prestigious honor it is to be pinned; to be recognized and welcomed into the the profession of nursing. When I questioned the faculty as to why this decision has been made, there only response was that "The pinning ceremony is more common place in associate programs..." (My school is a BSN program)...they followed with our school "is trying to become a larger school, in terms of the nursing program, and we found that the larger schools no longer have a pinning."

    So my question is, is this true? Has it become more common place to not have a pinning ceremony? Is this a long held tradition that has fallen to the way side? If so is there some sort of recognition held in lieu of a pinning? and if so what? Personally, I DO NOT want to let this tradition go and I feel if this is the case it is a shame. Myself and the other officers are trying to gain feedback on this issue. We are also tasked with breaking this information to the rest of our class, whom i feel will be just as upset as I am. However before doing so, we want to have sufficient enough information and a petition prepared in the event the general consensus is to fight for our right to be pinned! Please let me know what you all think of this, or if you have heard that the recent trend is to do away with the pinning and what schools are doing so. My college is located in New York, very close to the city.
    Thank you for all your input
    Last edit by Joe V on May 2, '12 : Reason: spacing
    Wild Irish LPN, Joe V, and Rlma626 like this.
  2. Poll: Should the Pinning Ceremony traditionally held to honor graduate nurses be abolished?

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  4. 134 Comments so far...

  5. 4
    I went to a 4-year BSN program. We had a pinning ceremony along with a graduation for the nursing school and a bigger one with the entire university. I didn't attend the pinning ceremony nor did I go to the university-wide graduation. Pinning wasn't a big deal in our program, and we weren't particularly close as a class so I didn't feel the need to celebrate with the other nursing students. I mostly attended nursing graduation for my parents' sake. Does your school have a graduation along with a pinning? It seems rather silly to have both and perhaps they don't have the budget to do both events?
    Sisyphus, Hawkens, CPhT2RNstudent, and 1 other like this.
  6. 4
    I am graduating in 11 days from a BSN program and I have my pinning ceremony in 10 days. I am so excited for it and cannot wait to hear from our class speaker and faculty speaker. The ceremony is not a big deal but it means a lot to us as graduating seniors. I would be upset if they did away with our ceremony. It is definitly a good idea to talk to your classmates and decide if it is worth fighting for a pinning ceremony. If most of you guys wants a pinning then fight for it!
    NutmeggeRN, Serenyd, amoLucia, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    My program is a 4 year program, our graduating NURSING class will be roughly 35 people and for the most part we are all a pretty much tight knit group. We also have a RN to BSN program, LPN to RN, and an accelerated BSN program, so in total at the ceremony it would be about 100. We do have a college wide graduation as well, however the pinning ceremony is organized and funded entirely by the students. So as far as to say it isn't "in the budget", well there was never any budget allocated towards it. Myself and the other officials organize fundraising events, not just to vastly reduce the cost of the ceremony that the students will incur, but also to donate to charities and to our schools "skills lab" which is always in dire need of equipment.
    If you dont mind me asking where did you go to school? and did you find that majority of your class decided to decline the pinning ceremony?
  8. 2
    My program is a 2yr program and I just heard that the school (not the nursing program) wouldn't allow the pinning ceremony. I did not really hear why but it was very disheartening...when I thkin of graduating I think of being pinned more than being handed a piece of paper!
    ccuz and SuperStarRN like this.
  9. 0
    My pinning ceremony was cancelled with the official reason being the other campuses did not get a pinning ceremony just the regular graduation. Well the cohort after us got one. 3 years later I'm still bitter. I really wanted that hat. Oh well the school I'm getting my RN will have one.
  10. 0
    I just read an article the other day about schools doing away with the pinning ceromonies. I wish I could remember where I read it, but I have no idea. But from what I read, a lot of schools are doing away with it.
  11. 3
    I love that the pinning ceremony is a connection between ALL nurses, no matter their educational background. We had one at my university in CA in 2007. My school's tradition is to be pinned by a nurse (I know in some places it can be a family member instead), and it was an honor to be pinned by one of my clinical instructors, and I enjoyed seeing who my classmates looked up to as mentors--some had faculty, some preceptors, some family or friends who are nurses and inspired them to become nurses. Graduation is for the degree; pinning is for the nurse. (I didn't go to my graduation from BSN.)

    My class was the first one in a long time, I think, that had a very small budget for the pinning ceremony. For many years each class did a lot of fundraising to pay for refreshments and decorations (with pressure for each student to contribute). The faculty and administration decided that things had gone too far, decided to give each class a small amount of money, and said we weren't allowed to fundraise or contribute. This was a big relief to me, as I HATE fundraising and hate spending money on things that don't seem worthwhile to me. A few people in my class were upset, but most people were happy to have a simpler event. The money paid for an auditorium, ribbons (the pins were attached to them), programs, and I think maybe a single rose for each of our mentors. It was lovely.
  12. 1
    Sadly, I don't remember attending my pinning/capping cereonies (Yes, CAPPING from the old dinosaur days!). I have an AAS and BSN so I'm a grad of 2 schools. I cherish both pins and my AAS cap (nobody wears caps anymore, but many of us wouldn't even think of tossing them). These ceremonies are meaningful to many, not so to some others (so they can stay home). But this is a sentimental rite of passage to recognize nursing's heritage. Like a birthday cake needs candles. it's needed. Good for you to fight for its preservation. Just a thought...do you have an Alumnae Association to support you? Alumnae members are $$ donors for gift giving drives. Maybe you could hit your college in the pocketbook?
    MAtoBSN likes this.
  13. 6
    I was the student rep my last semester in an ADN program at a CC and we were told by the Dean that pinning ceremonies were "old school" and not professional, it wouldn't look good on our resume, local hospitals would look down on us, etc. This was 15 years ago.

    Well, I checked. I called hospitals in our area and in other states. I called the BRN. No one said they would look down on us, no one said it would cause them to not hire us, no other schools that I contacted at that time stated they didn't want their students to having pinnings. I went to the last meeting with the Dean and teachers and told them that I'd researched it and could find no reason not to have a pinning and invited them all to come. The Dean had already forbidden the teachers from attending if we went ahead with a pinning.

    We did our own pinning ceremony off campus. It was very nice. Two teachers showed up - one because he nephew was part of her class and one probably to show the Dean that she couldn't be pushed around.

    If the majority of the class wants a pinning, save money for it yourselves and have it off campus.
    GadgetRN71, Monik Sims, SuperStarRN, and 3 others like this.


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