Pinning Marks 1,000th Goodwin Nursing Grad
Kimberly West was walking in the footsteps of 999 previous graduates and classmates when she stepped up to receive her pin on Thursday, Dec. 13. And, as program director Jan Costello pinned West, personal and institutional milestones were reached.
West was one of 43 students in the latest cohort to graduate from the program, which has grown to become one of the largest in the state. The pinning ceremony was an emotional night for the students and their families, marking the successful completion of the Associates degree program.
Some of the grads will seek to enter the workforce immediately. Others may seek to return to Goodwin to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in nursing through the College’s RN-to-BSN program.
Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg told a packed auditorium that while the number of graduates is great, it’s the quality of the nurses produced and the care that they show to their patients that really makes him proud.
“Besides being good test takers, you’re going to be incredible nurses,” Scheinberg said.
Maria Ellis, the Chair of the Goodwin College Board of Trustees and a practicing OBGYN, welcomed the new nurses to the healthcare field. She told the grads that she wanted to give all of them her personal thanks.
“Tonight you’re crossing over to become part of the Goodwin tradition,” Ellis said. “We’re very, very proud of you.”
Susan Kosman, Chief Nursing Officer for Aetna, served as a special guest during the ceremony and has a daughter who is enrolled in the Goodwin Nursing program. She called the pinning a great opportunity to reflect on what’s already been accomplished and expressed her excitement for what will come next.
“You can all help shape the future of what healthcare is going to be and to me, that’s very exciting,” Kosman said. “Nursing, like life, is a journey. Bon voyage.”
Costello imparted her own advice to the grads, all of whom she has gotten to know personally through their experiences in the program. She asked the new nurses to treat the whole patient, not just the disease.
The ceremony drew on traditions that date back to nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. After receiving their pins, the students lit candles and read their oaths by candlelight.
A balloon bouquet bearing “1,000” signified the achievement for the program, which was established in 2004 in response to a statewide and national shortage of qualified nurses. Prior to the program, Costello shared a video retrospective of Nursing at Goodwin, featuring several graduates and some of the students who were pinned later in the ceremony.