Pinning ceremony question

  1. I posted this question on a Men in Nursing forum and wanted to get some other opinions...

    I've heard and seen several people comment on their pinning ceremony. From what I've read, the whole thing sounds like it tends to be a little corny. Candles, singing and the Nightingale Pledge. Just doesn't sound like something I'll be really interested in participating in. I don't see why the nursing schools need this special ceremony anyway.

    So, those of you who have been through it, what do you think?
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   altomga
    ok..may sound silly, but it was sort of a passage of right ceremony for me...
    it was apart from college graduation and was meant just for us graduating nurses......
    You work you A$$ off in school, but get no separate acknowledgement from the rest of the school.........pinning ceremonies are a tradition...personally I am glad I went to mine...
  4. by   shelleybelle
    I had my pinning tonight... it was awesome. It was our time.. and a time to honor our families for supporting us. It was very, very special to us... don't be so down on it... enjoy it!!! We did
  5. by   rileygrl11
    Originally, I thought it would be corny too! BUT,....it was such an awesome experience for me. It was a chance to be rewarded for all that hard work in school and the it gave family and friends the opportunity to celebrate with you. While looking out at the audience, it gave me chills to see all the faces beaming with pride. It is a right of passage and something you will remember for ever. Please keep an open mind about it and go,...have a good time and celebrate!
  6. by   Wren
    Pinning is like other ceremonies or celebratory events that you might attend....graduations, recitals, showers and even weddings. They give the people who love you an opportunity to gather and congratulate you on achieving a milestone in your life. Corny? They certainly can be but at least most places don't have capping ceremonies now, do they? Always a challenge for the guys to get that nursing cap on!

    Go and enjoy your day, you've earned it!
  7. by   NurseDixie
    I would go to pinning if we have a pinning ceremony. I graduate in December, there'll only be around 12 of us, the majority graduated in May. I don't know if we'll have one with such a small number of graduates, but I do hope so. Go, you'll enjoy it.
  8. by   Gator,SN
    Twarlik,
    My pinning ceremony was a combination dinner/dance/pinning and it was beautiful and meaningful and corny and I loved every minute of it! I have 2 rolls of film with pictures of dancing and partying and some tears. When all the hard work and care plans and clinicals were finished, we celebrated together, and for a few last hours we were all together, happy and proud. All of us waiting for the promise of tomorrow and a brand new future. The tie that brought us together was a common goal and we weathered the storms of death, divorce, sick kids, nasty instructors, personal problems..... and when we all stood in a circle holding hands for the last time we knew that we had accomplished something special.
    GO to your pinning! Enjoy the moment. If you hate it, you have wasted an evening.....if you make wonderful memories, they will last a lifetime!
    Good luck to you!

    Gator
  9. by   twarlik
    It's not that I'm against the idea of celebrating my graduation from nursing school. This is my second degree, so I've been through the process before. It's just that so many accounts I've read make the pinning ceremony sound a little silly. Candle light processions...and that Nightingale Pledge just seems a little dated. Frankly a lot of it just seems like hold overs from a time when nursing was a female-only profession. I don't know for certain, but I doubt that medical school graduates are having candle light processions at their graduations. What's wrong with just having a regular graduation ceremony?
  10. by   Gator,SN
    Twarlik, I understand what you are saying!
    My husband went with me to the PC and for seveal days before he kept asking, "how long are you planning on staying?"
    ?? like I knew that....ha ha! But he does not like all the flowery stuff like I do, so he just sat there and tried to look happy for me. He did get up and dance with me 'to the slow songs' but I knew
    he just didn't get it.
    I had one male in my whole class who is also a paramedic and he definitely did not want pinned, so he skipped the whole thing.
    Now that I think about it, I guess it is sort of a female thing to hold hands in candlelight and get pinned...... not very manly????

    We did have graduation the next day and Joe showed up for that.....I can see your point. I would guess though that the females in your class want to whole traditional thing.......
    I suppose as more men enter the profession, things will change.
    I don't know what to tell you except, You are graduating, enjoy the moment of that and best wishes in your new career!
    Gator
  11. by   Gator,SN
    Oh and Twarlik, as far as medical schools go, I went to one graduation type thing once and they had a "white coat" ceremony.
    Not a candle or pin in sight!

    Gator
  12. by   altomga
    Originally posted by twarlik
    It's not that I'm against the idea of celebrating my graduation from nursing school. This is my second degree, so I've been through the process before. It's just that so many accounts I've read make the pinning ceremony sound a little silly. Candle light processions...and that Nightingale Pledge just seems a little dated. Frankly a lot of it just seems like hold overs from a time when nursing was a female-only profession. I don't know for certain, but I doubt that medical school graduates are having candle light processions at their graduations. What's wrong with just having a regular graduation ceremony?
    twarlik

    maybe you could suggest some ideas to make th e ceremony a little more gender friendly to fit both men and women. we did not have a candle ceremony, but we did say the pledge. one guy was in my class and he did go. a couple people in the class stood up and made speeches about "our time together" the trials and tribulations, etc....

    med grads from the university near where I live have a match day and white coat day....talka 'bout silly to me.....but to them it is a HUGE day and full of celebration....it is what you make it out to be

    good luck
  13. by   shelleybelle
    We had one guy in our class - and he got the "Nursing Student of the Year" award - he probably deserved it after putting up with 27 women (3 are instructors) for so long. He weathered it beautifully! He gave the benediction. I don't think ours was very corny at all. We did the candle thing, but it was short & sweet. We did hold hands... but we had a "thing". Before every single test we took, we all held hands and prayed together. So last night when Amy gave our invocation prayer, she asked us to "join hands one last time" and pray. Now that was very emotional.. of course, I was the crybaby of the class
  14. by   geekgolightly
    the pinning ceremony is "dated" because its a tradition since the beginning of formal nursing. i like the ritual aspect of the pinning ceremony, and although i do not have anyone who would be interested in watching my ceremony, i do feel that it will connect me with the tradition of nursing and honor Florence Nightengale and so many others who made this a profession worth being proud of.


    this is an excerpt from a pinning cerremony speech that i found that gives some background.....

    "The tradition of the nursing pin and the ceremonial pinning originated in the 1860's at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Having been recently awarded The Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying in the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale chose to extend the honor to her most outstanding graduate nurses by presenting each of them with a medal for excellence.

    It was the Wolverton Royal Hospital School in England that initiated the tradition of presenting all graduates with a badge. The first pin was awarded to the graduating class of 1880 of the Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing in New York City. The pin presented to each of the graduates was both beautiful and symbolic. It featured a crane in the center for vigilance, encircled with a band of blue for constancy, and an outer band of red for mercy and relief of suffering. Dr. Opas reports that by 1916 the practice of pinning new nursing graduates was common in schools throughout the United Kingdom and North America.

    For some, both within the nursing profession and the public, view the pinning ceremony as an outdated ritual. Some schools have already abandoned the pinning ceremony, and many others are considering doing so. But I, like so many of my colleagues, perceive this lovely tradition as a very meaningful and important rite-of-passage into the profession of nursing.

    The nursing pin has been both literally and symbolically a cross to bear, a medal and a badge. And the pins of today still to me represent each of these precursors. Nursing is a cross to bear for those of us who remain with the patient long after others have given up hope and gone home. Nurses never forget about their patients; even when they are not caring for them physically, they remain in their thoughts. Remembering always that they are caring for someone's mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter, and that these people are counting on them to do for their loved one what they themselves cannot do. And there are those times when, in spite of all of our technology and care, that a patient does not survive and we must admit defeat and yield to death. At times this emotional burden truly seems unbearable, but we understand it is part of both the pain and the privilege of being a nurse.

    The nursing pin remains a symbolic medal of honor. Nurses honor both the miracle of life and the finality of death. They respect and honor an individual's right to enter into life safely and to die with dignity. They also honor their patient's right to continue or refuse medical care even when they personally disagree with the decision.

    The nursing pin is also a badge of courage. Nurses are courageous in caring for those patients that would otherwise be ignored or exiled by society. This courage was recently exemplified by a brave team of doctors and nurses caring for a pregnant woman and her unborn child at Wesley Medical Center. The woman is both HIV and Hepatitis C positive and had received no treatment at the time of her admission to the labor and delivery unit. After a thorough evaluation, it was decided that it was medically necessary that she be delivered by Cesarean section. The medical and nursing staff armed themselves as well as possible and courageously stepped up to the field. Tragically, the scrub nurse was accidentally cur on the arm with the surgical blade during the procedure. She remained calm and maintained her composure while in the patient's presence, but broke down outside the surgical suite. She understands the grave implications this incident will have on her life but is determined to remain dedicated to her job, her patients and to the nursing profession. Everyday nurses do battle on the front lines, fighting death and disease, but do so with courage and commitment. Contaminated needles are but just one of the many bullets they must dodge in carrying out their duties on a daily basis. They, like so many other professionals in public service, put their own lives in peril to save the life of another.

    The pinning ceremony is, therefore, so much more than an event to mark the completion of nursing school. It is a beautiful rite-of-passage into the profession and, as Dr. Opas writes, "a reminder to all of us of nursing's well-founded historic promise to serve the infirmed."

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