Just a historical note -- pinning ceremonies date from when nursing schools were free-standing, hospital-based institutions, and the pinning ceremony was
the graduation ceremony. Now that most schools of nursing are part of colleges or universities, it's hard to figure the logic for having what amounts to two graduation ceremonies (the general commencement ceremony, and a separate, private nursing ceremony). Also, more and more schools are balking at paying for a separate private ceremony for the nursing students (but not for graduates of any of the other departments of the college or university) -- and you can see that is basically unfair -- which is why more and more schools that do
still have pinnings require the students to pay for the ceremony themselves.
Although I am as big a fan as anyone of the wonderful traditions and history of nursing, I'm afraid that, if we are going to have nursing programs
be departments of colleges and universities, then it's (past) time to suck it up and abandon pinning ceremonies. The ceremonies seem to be completely out of control now anyway
, with students being allowed to plan whatever they want for the ceremony, pick their own pins (instead of the official school pin, which is the original point of the ceremony -- but lots of newer schools of nursing don't even have
an official cap or an official pin), wear what they want, pick family members to pin them, etc. The ceremonies no longer serve the purpose they were intended to serve (that's been taken over by commencement), and are, in many cases, unrecognizable as pinning ceremonies, so, why bother??