help me buck the system, please! super-traditional pinning ceremony that nobody wants - page 8

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   CrunchRN
    I didn't go to my graduation because I was frustrated/angry with our faculty. I felt they were not supportive, and played favorites, and all turned a blind eye to the truly nasty/inappropriate one. I was second in my class, and i sometimes wonder if I should have gone anyway.

    However, that said it has made absolutely no difference in my life 11 years later! My husband did take me out for dinner/drinks/dancing instead and that was fun.

    Your school sounds like it is stuck in the 1950's so try to change them, and if you can't, it wont matter to you a year from now (it will to the poor nurses who come after though).

    I do think it is really ridiculous of your school. You did the work, you paid the tuition, and it is your ceremony for goodness sake!

    Best of luck to you on your nursing future - I think you will probably be a leader someday.
  2. by   rstewart
    I hope I have, as you requested, explained thoroughly what the issue is.[/QUOTE]


    Simply put, I don't believe that your problem will be resolved without a court's intervention. And such an intervention is by no means guaranteed.

    For public elementary schools, middle schools and high schools the issue has been resolved for some time. What you have described would almost certainly be found to be unconstitutional.

    Unfortunately. (from your point of view), public universities and colleges even though public have long been considered fundamentally different from grade schools by the courts. Since their students are adults/older they aren't so likely to feel coerced into another's belief system. And in most cases attendance at graduation events is not considered mandatory.

    On the otherhand you feel that your ceremony is mandatory---no participation, no evidence of program completion, therefore no Nursing Boards. You will be forced to say prayers which are sectarian. There is more than a passing relationship with the specific church people organizing the event and the school. These are examples of factors which might tip the balance in your favor legally. But who knows?...Even which District Court jurisdiction you file in can make a difference.

    If you are serious about this, I am sorry to say that you will need an attorney. Because the legalities are murky, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for your school's administration to change willingly.

    So it comes down to this: I know you don't like the way things are.....but just how strongly do you feel about it? How far are you willing to go?
  3. by   allamericangirl
    rach_nc_03



    For what it is worth, after reading your clarification of the issues, I have to agree that your college is out of line. I don't take issue with a ceremony being held in any type place of worship, it is after all just a building, but to have a religious service/hymns/etc. is crossing the line of separation of church and state. It amazes me that your school continues to do this.

    I very much agree with rstewart's post: "Simply put, I don't believe that your problem will be resolved without a court's intervention. If you are serious about this, I am sorry to say that you will need an attorney. Because the legalities are murky, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for your school's administration to change willingly.

    So it comes down to this: I know you don't like the way things are.....but just how strongly do you feel about it? How far are you willing to go?"

    My advice from there is try to talk with the administration at your school regarding forcing its students to attend a religious service as a requirement to receive your diplomas, and send in your NCLEX-RN registration, if that indeed turns out to be the case. I wonder if the President of your college even realizes this is taking place?

    If that doesn't help, then you may want to consider contacting an alumni of the school that has become an attorney and see if he would write the administration a letter explaining the possible legal consequences of their inappropriate requirement. Sometimes just a letter from an attorney is all that it takes. I doubt if your school wants to go through the negative publicity this could bring. Best wishes to you in getting this resolved.
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    Well, there is no such thing as separation of church and state, nor was there anything saying there should be (and this is coming from someone who is not religious at all).

    We held our pinning ceremony in a church and were given little white Bibles. It wasn't a big deal.

    You should just focus on graduating and being happy about that. The pinning ceremony is like high school graduation, it doesn't make a dimes worth of difference in the long run how you picked up your diploma.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    Hi all-

    Our pinning ceremony is held in a church, and has pretty significant christian religious overtones, which I have a problem with; I think it's an inappropriate blurring of the line between church and state (this is a state-funded community college), and I've had a few students express discomfort with having the ceremony in this church. By the way- it's only held there for faculty preference; there's plenty of room on campus.

    My main concern, though, is the attire for the ceremony.
    May I offer a simple rationale for why your school may have the ceremony in the church beyond your perceived notion that its for faculty preference?

    Many ADN programs I've been involved with compete with other programs for clinical and auditorium space, especially at graduation time. The nursing program is often the most expensive financial cost due to the need for low student/faculty preceptor ratios. Extra effort is put into keeping costs as low as possible, especially for a pinning ceremony that other programs do not have.

    It is possible that other programs requested all available space on the date selected in the past....someone knew clergy a the church and site was offered for free to nurses due to their "good will". If the school is highly tradiional, chuch location just might have stuck for ease of use, location, parking...numerous reasons.

    Ok, your class desires to change that. You've received good advice above.

    Onto LOCATION planning. Do it within the next two weeks, as school events calander fills up quickly.

    1. Often departments nursing secretary can fill you in on pinning ceremonies location in the past century (just kidding). Ask them who is resposible for booking school space for funcions, if you aren't already aware.

    2. Classmates and you scout out locations that might hold same capacity as church location. Keep in mind weather, parking distance and refreshment needs. Determine which locations are not booked. Prioritize preference.

    3. Write up desired ceremony outline. Determine costs involved. Use the '"NURSING PROCESS"

    4. If your facility advisor is an ally, run the plan past them. If viewed as non-supportive, request meeting with Dean/Dept head. All class reps should attend.

    5. Consider alternatives, what points your class may be willing to bend on in order to have different location.

    6. If the school has dug in their heels, go to college president.

    7. Allamerican girl offered last-ditch advice, if you want to go that far:

    "If that doesn't help, then you may want to consider contacting an alumni of the school that has become an attorney and see if he would write the administration a letter explaining the possible legal consequences of their inappropriate requirement. Sometimes just a letter from an attorney is all that it takes. I doubt if your school wants to go through the negative publicity this could bring. Best wishes to you in getting this resolve."

    Good Luck!
  6. by   Mystery5
    I think Rachel sounds pretty level headed actually. After all, she's endured 2 years of wearing those totally ridiculous caps! I appauded her for that!!! These gals look pretty happy, though!





  7. by   Mystery5
    1924


  8. by   Mystery5
    Here're some graduates from the late 1800's


  9. by   Fiona59
    The pictures were great!!

    The first one brought flashbacks to my LPN graduation. In Alberta, our caps had the dusty rose ribbons to signify we were trained in Alberta (wildrose country). I've heard LPN's trained in Ontario had aquamarine ribbons.

    Anybody got more info on that.
  10. by   Mystery5
    Nora Spencer Hamner, born in 1890 in Albemarle County, Virginia was a honor graduate of MCV School of Nursing in 1914. Shortly thereafter, she became a public health nurse in Darlington, South Carolina and after serving there she returned to Virginia to be a field nurse for forty-seven southwest counties. In 1919 she moved to Richmond and became executive secretary of the Richmond Tuberculosis Association a post she held for forty-three years until her retirement in1962. She was the first public health nurse in Virginia to complete a Master of Science degree, and she devoted her life to the welfare of MCV. She was the first woman to be appointed to the MCV Board of Visitors. Later, she served on the Board of Trustees of the MCV Foundation and was active until her death on November 17, 1971.

  11. by   Mystery5
    Class of 1903, Marquette University!!!

  12. by   Mystery5
    Quite a woman, Florence Nightingale!!!

  13. by   CathRN
    Our class raised our own money for our pinning ceremony. The pinning meant more to me than the graduation since only the graduating nurses were honored at the pinning. We had our ceremony at the college, our instructors were there for presenting the awards and such. Family members were able to present us with our pins. The graduation ceremony was nice, it included all the graduates. I probably won't ever wear my pin, but it is nice to have. Yes, we had to buy our pins ourselves, but I was worth it to me. I worked hard for that pin and those awards.
    The only stipulation that our instructors had was on the dress code, we wore white scrubs, they had to be bright white, cleaned, and pressed. Everyone (including the bigger people) looked very nice and professional.

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