Mind Boggling - Not going to graduation?

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Can someone please help me to understand why a nursing student would not want to attend his/her pinning ceremony. :uhoh3:

I just don't understand. My friend and I are about to complete our nursing program in about 6 weeks. She keeps telling me that she may not attend our pinning. I did not jump down her throat or anything I was just curious as to why she felt this way. Apparently she has not gotten along with one of the instructors and does not want to go. But why would she let an instructor cause her from not going ? She has been through so much to get to this point now. She failed the first semester in nursing school and had to wait a year to get back in... after all that she still doesn't want to attend. She knows how beautiful they are, her mom is a nurse and she's been to her moms. IDK apparently some people aren't exicited about pinnings anymore.

Me, I'm totally different. Every time the thought of me walking across that stage to get pinned gets me teary eyed. I've dreamed of the day of my pinning for so long now and I can't wait to experience the day. I can't wait to wear my all white with my cap and site my natingale pledge. :nurse: (sigh)

For those of you that did not or will not attend your pinning ceremony, I just have one question: Why ?

Thanks in advance for clearing this up for me.


134 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Med/Surg, MR/DD.

I feel the same way but get this, have of my class which will be graduating in oct is not going to pinning. I dont understand why grown people act this way. Why would you let one or two people ruin your day. chances are those people dont know or dont really care how you feel anyway.


14,633 Posts

Some people just aren't into ceremonies and events -- why do some people marry in jeans at the courthouse, and others have to have a $20,000 wedding? Different strokes ...

I was pinned when I graduated from my diploma program, back in the Dark Ages, haha) -- a couple other students and I had had to take leaves of absence during the program, for various reasons, and were not able to graduate with our original cohort, so some of the nursing faculty put together a little, informal (but still official! :)) pinning ceremony for us in a classroom -- it was a complete surprise to us, and v. sweet of the faculty to do.

When I returned to school many years later to complete a BSN, I did not attend the pinning ceremony. My thinking was that my original diploma program and pinning was what made me a nurse, and completing the BSN was primarily an academic exercise (I only did it to be able to go to grad school). To me, pinning is sorta like getting baptized -- once you've done it once, it makes no sense to do it again. I also did not "approve" of how they were going to do the ceremony. It turned out that in the preparation for commencement, I had been voted the "Outstanding Graduate" award by the faculty, but when they found out I wasn't planning on attending pinning (where the various awards would be announced), some of them got v. huffy about it and revoked my award and gave it to someone else (one of the faculty members, a mentor of mine, was so offended by this that she "broke ranks" and told me about it). I was so offended by that action that I have never donated a penny to them or participated in the alum association, although I've been generous and active with my other two schools! (ETA: I did march in the commencement exercises -- just didn't attend the separate pinning ceremony. As I said, I thought of this as an academic exercise rather than a nursing exercise.)

When I finished grad school, there was no separate pinning ceremony -- we were simply handed the pin when we were handed our degrees.

Whenever I'm asked about attending commencement or pinning ceremonies, I always encourage people to go, though -- it's only a couple hours or so out of your life -- if, later, you feel like it wasn't worth the effort, you haven't really lost much. But, if you decide later that you wish you had participated, there's no way to go back and do it over ...


1,446 Posts

Specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

I thought the exact opposite of you. I didn't attend my pinning ceremony, clinical awards ceremony, honor society induction or my graduation. Maybe because I thought of the schooling as job training I paid for, maybe because I am shy and get anxiety having to participate in things like that (having to go is like inflicting torture on me), maybe some of it had to do with my total lack of respect for the majority of instructors because of the way they tried to weed out the weaker instead of nurturing them, maybe because I feel no affection for the university, maybe because I didn't want to have them make any more of a profit on me, maybe it was a little bit of everything.


1,007 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry.

hmmm...I decided not to attend my pinning ceremony for many reasons, including some of the ones that are mentioned above. I just want to move on and excell.

i had to laugh. i got married at the courthouse at the beach in pair of hot pink shorts and a golf shirt.

i plan on going to my pinning, but i can understand why some people might not want to go.

Specializes in LTC.

I can understand where all of you are coming from. Different strokes for different fokes. Afterall, I am the same girl that didn't attend her prom or any other high school dances. And btw, I would way rather get married at a courthouse rather then spending money and going through the stress of planning a wedding, but ofcourse my mother nor fiancee wasn't having any of that. Yeah, so I understand a little better now.


1,446 Posts

Specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.
I can understand where all of you are coming from. Different strokes for different fokes. Afterall, I am the same girl that didn't attend her prom or any other high school dances. And btw, I would way rather get married at a courthouse rather then spending money and going through the stress of planning a wedding, but ofcourse my mother nor fiancee wasn't having any of that. Yeah, so I understand a little better now.

Understand. Sometimes when we are passionate about something, it is hard to comprehend how others do not have the same passion.


38,333 Posts

When my class had all of this stuff, I had stopped going to school because I had lost my job and I was too worried about how to pay my mortgage and living expenses. I could have cared less about it.


16 Posts

Hmmm. Let's see if I can say this and still remain calm and collected, and not dig to deep into the pain

and details.

Every one of us know something or have seen something that makes us

squirm or breaks our heart in nursing school. Some of us have had these "somethings" tied

directly to us. I was not going to pinning and would never look down on

someone or call them childish for choosing not to go. My class was threatened

that we would not get the PINS WE PAID FOR if we did not go to pinning. Imagine that.

Like any profession, there are self-righteous and cruel people in nursing education, and this affected me as a student, in a very personal way. BUT I did decide that no matter what, I was walking for my class and walking for my family.

It was a very hard choice to make, I cried for days dealing with very strong emotions and very real betrayal. I believe that if anyone had a good reason to shun pinning, it was me.. Sigh.. It's a long

heartbreaking story- YET I went, and I am so glad that I did, it was the 4th most amazing moment of my

life- the other 3 moments?- the birth of my children!

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,043 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

When I got my master's in Computer Science, I didn't want to go to graduation -- I had the paper, and I'd done the cap and gown thing before for the BA. My mom read me the riot act and told me that those ceremonies are as much for the family and friends as they are the graduate, so to put on my big girl panties and walk across the stage. Now, 15 years later, I really don't remember that much about it except that it was horribly hot and my foot hurt (I'd just gotten a cast off a broken foot...). But mom and dad have a picture of me graduating on the mantle, so there ya go....

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

You confused me by saying "graduation" when you were asking about "pinning". For us, they were two seperate events. :)

For pinning, we had 100% attendance. THIS was the event that we endured the last two years for--this was something that was special and unique that we had earned, and this is where we wanted the families to be at. No one even considered missing it.

Graduation, on the other hand...only 7 of us went. I did because it was the first time in my life I was eligible at any graduation to be wearing 5 lbs of honors regalia. Plus, over the last two years, I had felt that I had earned this graduation ceremony as much as I earned had the pinning, and a few other classmates came for that reason too. And yes, my family would have strangled me had I refused to go :)

But the majority of my classmates felt that it was anticlimatic--that the important/priority event was the pinning. They also felt that it would be a hassle to have everyone attend another event the very next night.

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