Our pinning ceremony was completely up to us. Thought up, planned, excuted, and funded by our class. We chose which instructors we wanted to place the pin on us and the other instructors were invited as guests just like our families and friends. The pinning ceremony was held the evening before the school's official graduation.
The school has a Student Nursing Organization which advocates for students, supplies student nurses with discounted equipment needed for school, and funds the pinning ceremony with money collected through fund raising and alumni donations. The SNO also gives out one scholarship
to a nursing student each quarter.
Each class chooses how they want their pinning ceremony to be. I don't know of any class that chose not to have a pinning ceremony. We all purchased our own pins. Generally speaking, the women wore dresses or nice pants and the men wore dress pants and a nice shirt. As the students were called up to receive their pin they were all given the opportunity to say something. Some did, some did not.
After our class president delivered a short speech and all the students were pinned we all went back to our seats (the class was set up in the middle with the audience surrounding them on three sides with the class facing the stage) and stood to recite the Nightingale Pledge and as we recited it, our class president lit a candle on a little lamp (you know, the lamp of knowledge lamp) and lit the candle on the student's lamp who was standing next to her, and then that person lit the lamp next to her, and so on until all the lamps were lit. It looked very cool as the sun was setting on a warm spring CA evening.
We choose to hold this ceremony on campus in a garden area. Some classes did it in restaurants or a hall or something like that. After the ceremony, we had a nice reception with finger foods and non-alcholic drinks.
It was very nice. I think the key to the success of our pinning ceremony is that the students paid for it, planned, it and were totally responsible for it.