Newest Goodwin Nurses Light Candles at 29th Pinning Ceremony
Hundreds of friends and family members of 61 excited, white-clad graduates packed the auditorium on Thursday, December 18, to celebrate Goodwin College’s 29th Nurse Pinning Ceremony. “Sixty-one students began in this cohort,” Nursing program chair Jan Costello said, “and 61 students are graduating.”
Costello lauded the hard work that the graduates had put in, and then turned the applause on the assembled audience. She urged members of the audience to stand and recognized those who had supported the graduates throughout their education: the mothers, fathers, grandparents, significant others, and children who had been there to support the graduates every step of the way.
“I want to officially welcome you all to the world of Nursing,” Dr. Maria Ellis, Chair of Goodwin’s Board of Trustees, told the graduates. “You’re going to make an impact on people’s lives.”
As the nursing graduates received their pins, Associate Professor of Nursing Pam Walker read individual affirmations that the graduates had written.
The pinning ceremony dates back to the 1860s when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George and in turn presented a pin to nursing graduates. By 1916, the practice of pinning new nurses was standard throughout the United States. As part of the ceremony, the flame from the ceremonial taper candle became a symbol of the care and devotion nurses administer to the sick and injured. Today, the chair of the nursing department lights the first candle, and the flame is then passed on from nurse to nurse.
After receiving their pins, the new graduates lit their ceremonial white candles and took the International Council of Nurses pledge: “In full knowledge of the obligations I am undertaking, I promise to care for the sick, with all the skills and understanding I possess, without regard to race, creed, color, politics or social status, sparing no effort to conserve life, to alleviate suffering, and to promote health. I will respect at all times, the dignity and religious beliefs of the patients under my care, holding in confidence all personal information entrusted to me, and refraining from any action that might endanger life or health. I will endeavor to keep my professional knowledge and skill at the highest level, and to give loyal support and cooperation, to all members of the health team.”