Today was a special day for 83 senior nursing majors as they received their Saint Anselm nurse’s pin in the 2014 pinning ceremony in the Abbey Church.
A tradition dating back to 1860, the pinning ceremony is a proud moment for student nurses as they are welcomed into the nursing profession. It is a celebration of the student’s completion, symbolizing their preparedness to serve as a compassionate caregiver.
“The pinning ceremony presents you with the mark of your school, so all will know that you have become part of the proud nursing alumni at Saint Anselm College,” said Dr. Sharon George, dean of nursing.
“Today we want to honor you for choosing this challenging and rewarding profession and for the difference you will make in the lives of your patients.”
Senior Alexandra Lagoutis of Orange, Conn., was chosen to represent her class as the student speaker.
Lagoutis said she was honored and excited to have the opportunity to speak at the event.
“The tradition of pinning is a beautiful way to bridge the role of student to professional, and to be reminded of the significance of our education and the unique and meaningful impact it will have on both our practice and our lives,” says Lagoutis.
In her remarks, she urged her fellow nursing students to remember what it means to be a Saint Anselm nurse.
“Our practice will be propelled by compassion; by the willingness to channel Florence Nightingale and create an environment of healing,” she said.
“To challenge, to question, to research; to think holistically, to advocate, to care, and to comfort; to hold hands, and share Popsicles. From this day forward, we are not just nurses, we are Saint Anselm nurses.”
The nurses' pins were then blessed by Father Augustine Kelly, O.S.B., and presented to each graduating senior by Dr. George and several nursing faculty: Professors Karen Grafton, Ann Fournier, and Margaret Walker.
The pin, proudly worn by all Saint Anselm nursing graduates, features elements of the college seal and the symbol of a lamp referring to Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp of my steps and a light for my path.”
The student nurses then took the Nightingale Pledge, an oath to honor and respect their patients and profession.
Following the ceremony, Father Anselm Smedile, O.S.B., celebrated Mass.
"The nursing pin has been both literally and symbolically a cross to bear, a medal and a badge. Nursing is a cross to bear for those of us who remain with the patient long after others have given up hope and gone home. Nurses never forget about their patients even when they are not caring for them physically, they remain in their thoughts, remembering always that they are caring for someone's mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter, and that these people are counting on them to do for their loved one what they themselves cannot do."
"As nursing students, we spend countless hours working. There are late nights, early mornings, papers, projects, and exams. Lectures can be long and exhausting, clinical can be an overwhelming whirlwind of rules, regulations, and a game of where on the unit is your instructor. But then, there are moments that we have making it all worth it. Patients that smile and say thank you. Patients that tell you you’re going to make a great nurse one day."