help me buck the system, please! super-traditional pinning ceremony that nobody wants - page 3

Hi all- I'm posting this in the general discussion rather than the student discussion, as I want to hear from people who were successful in doing something like this. I'm the president of my... Read More

  1. by   actioncat
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    While I'm extremely proud of my accomplishments- this is my 3rd career, and I've had to fight through much more resistance on this one than on the first two- for me, there are two days I will feel like celebrating: the day I get my first RN job, and the day I receive my passing NCLEX-RN score. I don't put much stock in ceremony in the first place, and I've walked out on things before when they violated my ethics and values. I will, however, pursue this, because the ceremony is important to many of my classmates.
    You said it. I did not buy a pin. I did not attend a pinning ceremony. I did not attend commencement. I worked hard to achieve good grades in nursing school, but in the end, all that really matteed to me was how much I knew and getting my license.
    Anyway, I don't have any advice to offer, but just wanted to say that must have been horrible to have to wear a cap! And I don't think it is really proper for a state funded school to be holding the ceremony in a church and for it to have religious overtones. It looks like you have your work cut out for you.
  2. by   Mystery5
    Frankly, that school could be setting themselves up for a big lawsuit by their local ACLU, which they would most likely lose. What century are they living in anyways? And I'm no fan of the ACLU, but really, how disrespectful to people of diverse beliefs to have the graduation a church!

    I cannot beleve that one school insisted that the student attend graduation! What a bunch of contol freaks! Frankly, I can't imagine that that would stand up in court either, if someone was feeling fiesty and had a lawyer.

    As far as the nun/nurse comment, I think nuns were usually associated with Catholic hospitals. They did a lot of good and turned out a lot of great nurses. I don't understand the need by some here to belittle nurses of yesteryear, anyways. They worked just as hard, or harder, than us modern nurses, were motivated professionals, And talk about controlling programs! I had an aunt by marriage, now deceased, who went to nursing school in the 30's. You had to live at the school, be unmarried, weren't allowed to date, etc. It wasn't a religious hospital, as far as I recall. She was an awesome, strongwilled woman who had an interesting career. People in those days had a lot more humility and respect for authority and tradition, IMO.

    Hey, maybe everyone ought to wear matching scrubs with bright balloons and teddy bears on them! That might show everyone how dedicated to professionalism us modern nurses are!
  3. by   ragingmomster
    As a December grad I have no way of knowing what will happen in May because they treat us like mushrooms until April. Meanwhile, no matter what we asked for, the school of nursing would not agree to give us any consideration in December. The school line is "one school of nursing, one graduation". On the other hand we do not have a "pinning". Traditionally the night before the college graduation, the school of nursing has a "recognition" ceremony. Nursing pins run anywhere from $59 for small sterling silver to $285 for large 14K gold, with white gold, and gold filled in between. The day school grads are not allowed to buy the smaller size though, but I don't know how the bookstore would check if you told them you were an evening grad to get the smaller pin. Students complained in years past about the cost of the pin, hence the "recognition" ceremony.

    We did our own little ceremony, kinda sweet, kinda cheesy, with our families at a local pizza restaurant that has a back room and buffet option. Cash bar. Hand made caps, and popularity contests included, I heard it was quite nice. (Of course, I had to work and missed it.)

    Who says you have to go to the pinning that the school has decided must be in the church? You paid for the pin, they have to give it to you. Make your own ceremony if you can't get them to change or get enough student support and just boycott the religious event.
  4. by   HyperRNRachel
    Quote from CCU NRS
    Consider that possibly there is a lesson to be learned, what about humility, while wearing a cap that announces you are a nurse perhaps you should show pride that you are becoming a professional and you should learn to be looked upon differently. Perhaps, thew white dresses are to honor a tradition tah nursing is something you should be proud of and shine while doing. Perhaps the faculty just wants a good laugh after taking crap from all of you for the last 2 years LOL!!!

    I probably shouldn't be posting because I feel that usually traditions have their purpose and yes they are always subject to change because your traditions aren't their traditions, but you know I was Proud to walk down the isle in My white Nursing uniform that I wore to all my clincals and carry my little lamp and recite the nurses oath. I felt it was a right of passage and I felt I deserved it!
    Well said. That is why I will not object to wearing a white dress and cap, it is a well deserved rite of passage.
  5. by   wonderbee
    Quote from rnmi2004
    I applaud you for being a great advocate for your fellow nursing students. They've got a great class president!

    I suggest you collaborate with the other students to come up with a written proposal outlining your wishes for the ceremony. After all, it is supposed to be something to celebrate *your* success--the students' input should be considered.

    Since the students feel that strongly about it, if you can't get the facility to take your class' desires into consideration, you just may have to skip the pinning ceremony and stick with the college's graduation ceremony. Your family & friends will still get to help celebrate your graduation, and it will send a strong message to the nursing faculty and it could prompt a change that will benefit future graduates. Or, as another alternative, the students could come up with their own pinning ceremony elsewhere.

    Good luck! I'm interested to know how this will turn out.
    Agreed! Come up with an alternate written plan that shows input from the entire class. We plan our own pinning ceremony and collect our own funds. There are a couple of non-negotiables but what we wear is not one of them.
  6. by   CCU NRS
    Quote from Mystery5
    Frankly, that school could be setting themselves up for a big lawsuit by their local ACLU, which they would most likely lose. What century are they living in anyways? And I'm no fan of the ACLU, but really, how disrespectful to people of diverse beliefs to have the graduation a church!

    I cannot beleve that one school insisted that the student attend graduation! What a bunch of contol freaks! Frankly, I can't imagine that that would stand up in court either, if someone was feeling fiesty and had a lawyer.

    As far as the nun/nurse comment, I think nuns were usually associated with Catholic hospitals. They did a lot of good and turned out a lot of great nurses. I don't understand the need by some here to belittle nurses of yesteryear, anyways. They worked just as hard, or harder, than us modern nurses, were motivated professionals, And talk about controlling programs! I had an aunt by marriage, now deceased, who went to nursing school in the 30's. You had to live at the school, be unmarried, weren't allowed to date, etc. It wasn't a religious hospital, as far as I recall. She was an awesome, strongwilled woman who had an interesting career. People in those days had a lot more humility and respect for authority and tradition, IMO.

    Hey, maybe everyone ought to wear matching scrubs with bright balloons and teddy bears on them! That might show everyone how dedicated to professionalism us modern nurses are!
    First Bravo for sticking up for our past counter parts, just because Nuns became nurses doesn't meant they were less professional and most likely more professionall and for that matter holisitic before holisitic care was even a theory.

    Catholic Nursing schools DO NOT take only nuns I work at a Catholice facility that used to be a school and many of the nurses that have been there for >20years actually attended school there. They are all very competent, professional, intelligent and caring nurses.

    Yes by all means why shouldn't we make sure that the rest of the world feels like we are just trained monkeys wearing Teddy Bears, and Balloons on our scrubs.

    Tradition has it's purposes I believe. I feel that one of those purposes is to help students understand the gravity of the nursing profession, some things should not be frivolous, some things should be conducted with an air of dignity and propriety.

    As for being held in a Church I guess that could be construed as wrong by some but if you are graduating from a nursing program you should be mature enough to be able to separate your beleif's from those of others and you should also be open minded enough to be able to conform to the will of others on such small points afterall you may have Pts in the future that will ask you to pray with them, will you turn your back on them, IF you are secure in your own belief why should just entering a Church or attending a ceremnoy in a Church be so offensive, many people who are devout Christians go to many ceremonies in many other places than Churches and do not make it out to be a big conspiracy designed to undermine their beliefs.

    Again just my 2cents.
  7. by   fab4fan
    Thanks, CCU NRS...I really needed to hear that.

    I graduated from a Catholic facility that was steeped in many years of tradition. While the school was certainly progressive, no one seemed to take such umbrage as some have here at taking a nod to where we came from.

    I never got to wear my graduate cap, but I treasure it...it reminds me of those that went before me.
  8. by   Altra
    Quote from CCU NRS
    Tradition has it's purposes I believe. I feel that one of those purposes is to help students understand the gravity of the nursing profession, some things should not be frivolous, some things should be conducted with an air of dignity and propriety.

    As for being held in a Church I guess that could be construed as wrong by some but if you are graduating from a nursing program you should be mature enough to be able to separate your beleif's from those of others and you should also be open minded enough to be able to conform to the will of others on such small points afterall you may have Pts in the future that will ask you to pray with them, will you turn your back on them, IF you are secure in your own belief why should just entering a Church or attending a ceremnoy in a Church be so offensive, many people who are devout Christians go to many ceremonies in many other places than Churches and do not make it out to be a big conspiracy designed to undermine their beliefs.
    Bravo.

    The italics are mine. Taking offense to all representations of beliefs other than my own would be a huge problem for me, as my husband's family is of another faith than mine. Somehow, we manage to conduct family celebrations, marriages, funerals and other events. Imagine!

    I agree -- a little humility and energy devoted to something other than taking umbrage at traditions just because they are traditional might be in order for all of us now & then.

    To the OP -- if it is truly the collective consensus of your class that nearly all aspects of the planned ceremony are distasteful to all of you, I agree that coming up with acceptable alternatives and meeting with your program director is appropriate. You should probably be prepared to give a little to get a little, as the saying goes ...
  9. by   Thunderwolf
    Yes, I agree too...what a fiesty bunch.

    I brought up the nurse-nun issue because that is a historical fact which did shape how and what a nurse looked like and dressed. Over the years, the habit gave way to the white dress and bib/apron and head dress, then the white uniform and cap, then the white uniform. The military also had a similar influence on the look of the nurse. Scrubs of today really initiated the push from this tradition. However, I would like to emphasize that there is nothing wrong about tradition. Nothing at all. But, I was trying to answer...what I thought I heard from the original poster...was the desire of her class to break away from the tradition. Nothing wrong with that either. I formulated my responses to her VERY formally if it hadn't been noticed already. I wanted to provide her a certain mindset when she approached the deciding school chair. The mindset was to present oneself as a professional who has her rationale for change with the backing of her peers. Why? Traditions die hard. If this is the wall she plans to confront, then being professional about it is the key. Being emotional and reactive may backfire when making such a request. The nurse-nun was brought up because of its symbolism...especially since the event was going to be held at a church, which I believe was counter to what her peers wanted. And yes, nurses can indeed be humble and professional at the same time. This is why I encouraged her and her peers to discuss and collaborate the issue with the chair...not to stomp off and not attend just because one does not get one's way. Doing this serves no purpose. It is also a waste of energy. She was asking how to effect some change in an environment where change is difficult. This is what she was asking, nothing more. Is this not what we as current nurses face day to day in our own environments? So, as a result, my stance was to approach her very formally and very professionally. There was not any intent on my part in slamming tradition, nuns, the Catholic church, or the dedication/hard work that nuns or religious performed in history or in present day. I needed to say that for folks to hear. Oh, and by the way...I'm an active Catholic.
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Jan 15, '05
  10. by   fab4fan
    Sorry, I found the general tone of some of the responses as condescending to those of us who opted to incorporate traditional aspects into our graduation.

    Thanks again to those who are able to see that some tradition isn't necessarily an evil thing.
  11. by   Mystery5
    Well, I personally wouldn't have a problem with it being in a church because I don't like to sweat the small stuff. But some folks might have a big problem, so why not have it in a more neutral location? The school is opening itsself up to a big legal mess with that choice of venue. I see the OP is from the deep south, but I can't believe in this day and age that a publiccally funded school could get away with that.

    If anyone thinks our predessors were a bunch of pushovers, believe me they were extremely competant, independent women. Nursing school was extremely tough and rigorous in those days, those women were determined and resourceful! My Aunt Ruth was a force to be reckoned with! She had some very interesting experiences as a public health nurse. She told me once that doctors were quietly helping terminal patients out of their misery back then, and would say "It's time to give Mrs So and So her shot today" (lethal injection )
  12. by   allamericangirl
    Quote from CCU NRS
    First Bravo for sticking up for our past counter parts, just because Nuns became nurses doesn't meant they were less professional and most likely more professionall and for that matter holisitic before holisitic care was even a theory.

    Catholic Nursing schools DO NOT take only nuns I work at a Catholice facility that used to be a school and many of the nurses that have been there for >20years actually attended school there. They are all very competent, professional, intelligent and caring nurses.

    Yes by all means why shouldn't we make sure that the rest of the world feels like we are just trained monkeys wearing Teddy Bears, and Balloons on our scrubs.

    Tradition has it's purposes I believe. I feel that one of those purposes is to help students understand the gravity of the nursing profession, some things should not be frivolous, some things should be conducted with an air of dignity and propriety.

    As for being held in a Church I guess that could be construed as wrong by some but if you are graduating from a nursing program you should be mature enough to be able to separate your beleif's from those of others and you should also be open minded enough to be able to conform to the will of others on such small points afterall you may have Pts in the future that will ask you to pray with them, will you turn your back on them, IF you are secure in your own belief why should just entering a Church or attending a ceremnoy in a Church be so offensive, many people who are devout Christians go to many ceremonies in many other places than Churches and do not make it out to be a big conspiracy designed to undermine their beliefs.

    Again just my 2cents.
    I am sincerely thrilled, honored, and most grateful to read your post. I cherish time honored traditions. It is respecting the sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.

    Recently, I responded to another thread about nurses wearing white and was thoroughly admonished for suggesting that nurses should ever wear anything but scrubbs, and return to "servitude".

    My great respect for Nursing manifests itself, sometimes, in my idealism that by female nurses abandoning time honored traditions of the caps and dress, which kept the profession highly visible to the public, has not only liberated nurses from wearing caps and dresses, but has also worked to make the profession less visible throughout the medical industry and to the general public. Since the time that both Catholic Sisters and Nurses have bared their heads, both careers have suffered a shortage of members in keeping with their need. I don't know of any demographics on this, but it is evident, even though it may be coincidence.

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for the thousands of nurses who have gone before me, and I look forward to the honor of being graduated in a traditional white nursing uniform and cap, complete with lamp and pinning ceremony. Being in my late 50's, the opportunity to become a nurse has been long to come, and I will be a huge personal disappointment if I am denied the opportunity to share the time honored traditions of nursing graduation that so many thousands of others have been so fortunate to participate in. In choosing where I will attend school, how they "graduate" nurses is an important part of my decision.

    As far as the school dictating what the graduation ceremony will be, my feelings are these: You choose the school which you attend. You exchange money for your education, but not the right run the school, set it's policies, or dictate how, when, or where it should conduct it's commencement exercises. You agreed to follow their policy and procedure when you accepted their program.

    I believe that when you have completed your educational at an institution, you should live up to the rest of your obligation. You had ample opportunity to find out what their policies were. Go to your graduation exercises and have the dignity and decorum to not make a spectacle of yourself. You and your classmates made your school choice, no one forced you to go to school there. Finish what you started without causing trouble. Yes, it's your education and your graduation, but without the school, you wouldn't have either one. Life is filled with situations in which we have to do things that we don't like, and no employer is going to allow you to dictate policy to them and retain you as an employee. Se la Vie!
    Last edit by allamericangirl on Jan 15, '05
  13. by   actioncat
    Quote from allamericangirl
    I am sincerely thrilled, honored, and most grateful to read your post. I cherish time honored traditions. It is respecting the sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.

    Recently, I responded to another thread about nurses wearing white and was thoroughly admonished for suggesting that nurses should ever wear anything but scrubbs, and return to "servitude".

    My great respect for Nursing manifests itself, sometimes, in my idealism that by female nurses abandoning time honored traditions of the caps and dress, which kept the profession highly visible to the public, has not only liberated nurses from wearing caps and dresses, but has also worked to make the profession less visible throughout the medical industry and to the general public. Since the time that both Catholic Sisters and Nurses have bared their heads, both careers have suffered a shortage of members in keeping with their need. I don't know of any demographics on this, but it is evident, even though it may be coincidence.

    I have nothing but the utmost respect for the thousands of nurses who have gone before me, and I look forward to the honor of being graduated in a traditional white nursing uniform and cap, complete with lamp and pinning ceremony.
    I believe that when you have completed your educational at an institution, you should live up to the rest of your obligation. You had ample opportunity to find out what their policies were. Go to your graduation exercises and have the dignity and decorum to not make a spectacle of yourself. You and your classmates made your school choice, no one forced you to go to school there. Finish what you started without causing trouble. Yes, it's your education and your graduation, but without the school, you wouldn't have either one. Life is filled with situations in which we have to do things that we don't like, and no employer is going to allow you to dictate policy to them and retain you as an employee. Se la Vie!
    C'est la vie? (I assume that is what you meant). This is life?
    Oh my goodness! this post is so condescending. Nobody has an obligation to attend a pinning ceremony or commencement.
    Policies change ALL the time. Nothing is set in stone. Hey, that might be a good thing to remember in nursing. Just because something "has always been done this way" does not make it the best way to do something.
    She asked for advice and not admonishment to "go to your ceremony and not make a spectacle of yourself."
    And no, a state supported school should not be having a ceremony with strong religious overtones. There is absolutely no reason to have it in a church.
    Professionalism manifests itself in many ways. I, for instance believe that writing a coherent sentence is one way to show professionalism. To me, the ability to communicate through the written word is a more important marker of professionalism than wearing a cap and dress.
    I sincerely doubt the nursing shortage is due to the fact that nurses no longer wear caps. Just wondering, how much nursing experience do you have? Have you tried working on a busy floor wearing a white dress and cap?
    Frankly, I believe Rachel is being a very good advocate for her fellow students. I think this shows she will be an excellent advocate for her patients.
    Last edit by actioncat on Jan 15, '05

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