Saint Anselm Senior Nursing Majors Receive Nurse's Pin

Senior nursing students process into the Abbey Church

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.

Senior nursing students process into the Abbey Church

“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.

Full Remarks


Dr. Sharon George, Dean of Nursing

"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."

Alexandra Lagoutis '14, Student speaker

"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."

Program: Student Acknowledgments & Faculty Reflections


Senior Nursing Class Receives Saint Anselm College Nursing Pins

Nursing students after the ceremony

On April 28, a beautiful spring Saturday in New Hampshire, 69 nursing students of the class of 2012 received their Saint Anselm College nurse’s pins. Joined by family and friends, the students wore their traditional nursing caps and celebrated the completion of a highly respected and rigorous nursing program in the Abbey Church.

Nursing students after the ceremonyThe pin, featuring the college’s official seal and the symbol of a lamp, refer to Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp of my steps and a light for my path.” It symbolizes our nurses’ preparedness to serve as compassionate caregivers. Sharon George, dean of nursing, with the help of Karen Grafton, the program coordinator, pinned each nursing major with the Saint Anselm pin to wear for the entirety of their career.

Following opening remarks by Dean George, student speaker Carly Staab described a particularly significant clinical shift and reminded her nursing class, “Embrace differences, learn from one another, and be kind to one another. Do not underestimate the effect of caring words, a genuine smile, or a reassuring touch.”

During the ceremony, student Kelly Lenehan received the Joanne K. Farley nursing award for best exemplifying the qualities of the nursing program’s former director of nursing. Fr. Augustine Kelly, O.S.B., dean of the college, blessed the pins. Fr. Anselm Smedile, O.S.B., was celebrant and Fr. Benedict Guevin, O.S.B., gave the homily. A reception in Cushing Center followed the mass.

In talking about the ceremony, Staabs says it was beautiful: “It is such an incredible tradition and I feel blessed to have been provided the opportunity to be a part of it.”