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Accelerated program students take professionalism pledge

Jan 10, 2020

pledge recital
Photo above: Students stand to recite their pledge

Seventy-three students attended the Professionalism Pledge Ceremony for the Accelerated BScN Program on January 9th at McMaster University.   

The accelerated stream is for students who have completed two years of undergraduate courses (in any program) and meet other specific entry requirements. Unlike the basic stream BScN students, who take 4 years or eight semesters to graduate, accelerated students complete their BScN in just five semesters ​(20 months). In January, accelerated students are just about to embark on their first professional practice placement. 

Maria Pratt, assistant professor, is the BScN accelerated stream lead. “Entering the real-life practice placement for the first time is a critical transition for all nursing students. Reciting the professionalism pledge is a way students can honour and commit to upholding the values and standards of the nursing profession,” says Pratt.

One of the traditions of the pledge ceremony is to invite guest speakers, including a student in the upper years of the program, to give the students a sense of their journey ahead. This year, Sara Van Den Akker, a level 4 student, addressed the audience, and offered some of the lessons she had learned at her placements, and advice for her fellow students.

Sara Van Den Akker

Photo above: Sara Van Den Akker, a level 4 accelerated student 

Other speakers at the event included Dr. Joanna Pierazzo, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs; Dr. Bernice Downey, Indigenous health initiative lead, school of nursing/department of psychiatry & behavioural sciences; and Heather Burnside, professional practice instructor in the school of nursing.

Bernice Downey
Photo above: Dr. Bernice Downey 

The final part of the ceremony is the reading of the pledge. Students stand to recite it together, and sign their personal copy, which they keep as a reminder of their commitment. The pledge reads:

“This pledge represents my entry into the nursing profession and my lifelong commitment to uphold the values and standards of the profession. As a reflective practitioner, the registered nurse demonstrates confidence, integrity, optimism, passion, and empathy, in accordance with professional standards, guidelines and codes of ethics. I agree to demonstrate the professional behaviours reflective of a learner committed to developing myself as a professional nurse within all learning environments and the global community.”  

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