Graduating Nurses' Pinning Ceremony

  1. I have a question for those out there currently in school or working in the field. I am in my last semester of an ADN program and last Friday we were told they were cancelling the Pinning Ceremony for graduates, starting with our class. We were told more students need to participate in the actual graduation that includes students from all 5 campuses and is split in half by alphabetical order.

    Most students are highly upset, myself included, because that is the recognition we get from graduating from nursing school. At the actual graduation, there is no mention of nursing, just your name. Most students have already invited family and told everyone the date because that is when it is feasible for families to also acknowledge us. They have had to deal with all the sacrifices we have made for the past 2 years also. But, no, nadda, nothing. No one wants to hear how it makes us feel - but considering it is on our semester schedule and was scheduled until last week, and that there was no student input into the situation, it is just highly aggravating. :angryfire

    I was just wondering if there are students out there or past graduates whose schools still did pinning ceremonies and if so, how would it make you feel if you were told you would not have one. Thanks in advance for any input - we are just all trying to understand why this happened to us without any discussion.
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    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 9


  3. by   Jessy_RN
    I am so sorry to read this. I can just imagine how upset I would be and especially if I was looking forward to it and starting with my class they cancelled .

    The only thing I can think of is some sort of "gathering" or ceremony if you will; to share that special moment. It could even take place at a nice restaurant with proper reservations. I would bring this up, and maybe get together with the ones who would have loved the pinning ceremony and come up with something.

    Best wishes to you and congratulations on graduating.
  4. by   Catys_With_Me
    Has the school "run" the pinning ceremony in the past? Ours donates a college auditorium and refreshments but we take care of the rest. If nothing else, look into whether or not you can get them to allow you use of an auditorium and a reception room. If not, go off campus, a nice park that can be reserved or a community room that could be donated for such a purpose... and do it that way. The restaurant idea is nice but I'm just thinking of how many people would be attending, you usually need something that will accommodate a lot of people.

    The bottom line is you don't need their "permission" to hold a pinning ceremony, just the will of the students and the work involved to problem solve this.
  5. by   elkpark
    I hear of more and more schools doing away with pinning ceremonies (or, at least, telling the nursing students that, if they want a pinning, they have to plan and pay for it themselves) -- I guess this is one of the "down sides" of college/university depts. of nursing as opposed to hospital-based diploma schools (where the pinning was the graduation ceremony).

    I can see how the school would feel (and, I must say, I agree with them) that you are earning an academic degree, the same as every other graduate of the school, and the ceremony which recognizes that is the college/university-wide commencement ceremony, same as all the other graduates. After all, the education majors don't have a special, private ceremony, or the math majors, or the English majors, or the chemistry majors, or ... (etc., etc.)

    I am an old diploma grad (who has since completed a BSN and MSN, so I am definitely an advocate of higher education in nursing!) with v. fond memories of the pinning ceremonies at my alma mater, inc. my own pinning. However, if nursing, as a group, is going to say that nursing preparation is a degree like every other undergrad degree (which is basically a good thing, I think), then one of the consequences is that we're going to have a harder and harder time convincing administrations of colleges and universities that we're somehow "special" and different from all the other departments of the school, and deserve special treatment ...

    I do agree that your school handled this situation v. badly, esp. on such short notice. However, it is true that you're not graduating from a "nursing school" as a separate entity; you're graduating from the college/university, same as all the other graduates -- it just happens that your major is nursing. Go to commencement and receive your degree and whatever recognition/honors you may have earned, and, if the nursing students want to get together and do something social with their families, you can certainly make whatever plans you want to do that.
  6. by   colethlin
    I can't believe what I'm reading! Our school does the pinning ceremony. We use the auditorium but everything else is paid by our class dues. The whole ceremony is planned by our class, from speakers, to the songs played, down to what kind of flowers are there. Our lamps are also paid for by our class dues. The pinning ceremony ( as well as graduation ) is what my motivation is. It will be an honor to walk across that stage and be pinned with my nursing cap, that I have worked so hard for. It is a shame that they will take that moment from you. Is there someone above their heads that you could go to? Like everyone else, maybe you could gather at another place and have your own ceremony. Good luck and congratulations!!
  7. by   grentea
    I would be ticked off. If you have a student union, I would appeal to them for help. Talk to professors who might support you in organizing your own ceremony. I would gather together as many people as possible and make a huge stink, because that would make me pretty angry. Was there any particular reason other than not having enough people to help with the ceremony that your school gave? Because that sounds like a pretty non-descript, stupid reason to cancel a pinning ceremony.
  8. by   psych_nurse_2_be
    Yes, the reason for the cancellation given to us was pretty non-descript. During the announcement, we were told that administration wants more participation in the actual graduation, however, after talking to different instructors, who are also upset over the cancellation of the ceremony, we have been told that faculty voted to remove the ceremony permanently from the program because too many people in the past complained about the set-up and how the ceremony was done. The way I see it is that those who aren't interested in the ceremony don't have to participate. I mean someone is always going to complain about something - we're all human and this is life - people complain. However, it wasn't us complaining - although we are now. My mom graduated from the same program 8 years ago and she is just speechless over this.

    We do have a discussion board where we are collecting ideas on something that could be student run. We were talking about it yesterday in class and were informed by an instructor that whatever we do cannot have anything to do with the college or even mention the college unless we go to the administration and ask for approval. So, currently we are brainstorming what we can do. I just hate having this added stress on top of everything else during the last semester, but by gosh we will have something that acknowledges the graduating students before the semester truly ends.

    I was researching the tradition of the ceremony and learned that it is when the faculty accepts the gradate nurses as colleagues and peers in the nursing profession and because of all this, it is really frustrating to have the lack of support we are getting from the school.

    Thanks for all the input so far!
  9. by   SkateBetty
    I am so saddened by your post! Our pinning plans are similar to Colethlin's, with all the arrangements and planning done by classmates. Funds come mostly from our own class funds, and it's a special night with everybody wearing semi-formal black and white. We are pinned with our school pin, receive a cap if we want one, and light our own personalized ceramic lamps in the same manner it has been done for generations! Your school is trying to improve attendance at graduation by denying you something they have no right to deny! You've earned your pinning, and I hope you take a stand to make it happen. Good luck!
  10. by   twinmommy+2
    Wow, I would be very upset!

    I am co-chairperson for the Nursing Pinning Ceremony committee at my school. We do all of it ourselves with fundraising and a budget along with help from advisors in the faculty. Its funny, cause the things we want to do keeps coming back as not being policy and that we have to do it the way its always been done.

    Have you talked to the rest of the class about fundraising and doing it yourself?
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Our pinning ceremony was put on by the students. We paid for it ourselves. Rented the hall - it was at an Elk's Lodge overlooking a beautiful river. Our director discouraged us too but we did it anyway. We graduated with the entire college and then had our pinning the next night. The local hospitals donated large cakes - public relations move but still nice.

    Just do your own pinning ceremony and keep the bureaucrats out of it.

  12. by   pink2blue1
    I'm in an LVN program and our school DOES them. It's combined with the graduation (I just attended the class of 2005's last night!) I would be upset if they took this away. I'm so sorry to read this.
  13. by   JenNJFLCA
    Ours does a pinning ceremony, and ours will be extra special since we're the first 4 year BSN class at my school (before they had RN-BSN and MSN only). I can't wait! It's a huge deal and I'd be crushed if we didn't have one--esp after all the HARD WORK we put in!!
  14. by   Race Mom
    If math, english, computer majors had to "apply" for a program to graduate, and wait 2-3 years to even get into the program, I could see how a "Nursing degree ceremony" would be unfair if it involved the school's participation. But the truth is that they can finish their degree in whatever manor they wish. Nursing school is a "privilage" to get into, and dang hard to do too! We deserve it!