McMaster University

McMaster University

Pinning ceremonies mark entry into nursing profession for new graduates

By Amanda Boundris
Published: June 27, 2011
School of Nursing convocation 2011
New nurses line up to receive their nursing pins during pinning ceremonies June 17 at the Hamilton Convention Centre

Following their convocation on June 17, graduates of the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program participated in the pinning ceremony, a time-honoured nursing school tradition.

The pinning ceremony dates back before the turn of the twentieth century and marks a graduate's passage from student to practising nurse. These ceremonies are held all over the world and nurses wear their pin when they are in uniform caring for patients. McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College each held their own pinning ceremony at the Hamilton Convention Centre after students graduated earlier in the day.

"The nursing pin has emerged as a symbolic medal of honour and the ceremony a right of passage,' said Ola Lunyk-Child, coordinator of studies for the BScN program at McMaster.

Catherine Tompkins, associate dean of McMaster.s School of Nursing, told the new nurses: "Now you are entering a challenging and challenged profession where your ability to adapt to change will be so important.'

Kristina Skoko, the valedictorian for McMaster.s pinning ceremony, told the audience of fellow graduates, family members and friends: "I.ve learned that every day I can make a difference in someone.s life, and I choose to make it a positive difference.'

In her speech, Mohawk.s valedictorian Sarah D.Angelo said it is important to remember that "as nurses we will always be learning,' and joked that the group has "perfected the ancient art of handwashing.'

Sarah-Jane Stewart was the valedictorian for Conestoga.s pinning ceremony. She remarked: "When you step onto a new ward or have to complete a new assignment, always remember the testing times and tribulations that you have conquered. Believe in the successes you have accomplished, the large and the small.'

At each pinning ceremony students received in course awards and one practising nurse was given a BScN Preceptor Award of Distinction for their contribution to the clinical education of a graduating student.

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