2019 Nursing Pinning Ceremony is a family affair

Child pinning nursing student

Campbell University’s second class of nursing students held a pinning ceremony on May 9 in Butler Chapel. Dr. Nancy Duffy, director of Nursing, presided at the auspicious event.

Duffy greeted the attendees and Wesley Rich (’01 BS, ’05 MEd), associate dean of Health Sciences for the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, provided the welcome. The invocation was prayed by Erica Gooch (’19 BSN Candidate) before Jacqulyn Dixon (’18 BSN) delivered the keynote address. Dixon is a registered nurse with Harnett Health and is a member of the University’s charter class of nurses.

She reminded the cohort that their time at Campbell truly did prepare them for their career. “To be honest with you all, one year ago, sitting in your seat I really did not think I was ready. But ignore those thoughts, because you are ready. Every lesson you have learned, every concept map, every test question, including the select all that apply, will come to life. It is preparing you. It has prepared you.”

At the end of her address, Dixon challenged the class. “As a Campbell Nurse, I am challenging you to hold your title with pride and do everything with your whole heart.”

Each student selected a family member, friend or mentor to place the pin on their white coat. After each student received their pin, Assistant Director and Instructor of Nursing Tonya Willingham led the class in the Florence Nightingale Pledge. Carson Custy (’19 BSN Candidate) pronounced the benediction and the class recessed to gather with loved ones after the ceremony.

History of the Nursing Pin and Ceremony

The tradition of the nursing pin and the ceremonial pinning began in the 1860s at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Having been recently awarded the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying in the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale chose to extend the honor to her most outstanding graduate nurses by presenting them each with a medal of excellence. 

The Pinning Ceremony now marks the passage from the student role to the practice role. The pin of each school of nursing is unique, and only graduates of that school may wear the pin as a statement that they have completed that program. 

Campbell University Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing’s Inaugural Class of 2018 designed the pin.