On May 7, 2012, the Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Nursing Program proudly celebrated its annual Pinning Ceremony, a ceremony that welcomes newly graduated nursing school students into the profession. While this ceremony is a long standing tradition at HCC, this year the ceremony was celebrated in new fashion with the addition of a presentation being offered in both English and Spanish. This pinning ceremony isn’t unique to HCC. This ceremony is a tradition celebrated across the states in the nursing profession as it honors the founder of modern nursing, Ms. Florence Nightingale.
Families and friends were provided the significance of the history of Pinning and Lightning of the Candle. Florence Nightingale was the first nurse in the History of Nursing to be awarded the Red Cross Medallion from Queen Victoria as acknowledgement of the efforts and improvement made by Florence Nightingale and her staff of 38 trained nurses. This medallion was later copied and used for acknowledging and pinning of nursing students who demonstrated Excellence in Nursing. The tradition was carried out in the United States at Bellevue Hospital by one of her former students. The lighting ceremony further symbolizes the daunted efforts of Florence Nightingale to monitor the injured soldiers during the Crimean War. Florence Nightingale carried a lantern lightening the corridors during the night.
Featured speaker, a former HCC graduate, Charlotte Young, RN, MSN, Educational Specialist at St. Joseph Hospital, shared her extensive knowledge of nursing and introduced the transitional process of becoming a nurse and entering the work force. The Nursing Director for HCC, Alma Vega, ARNP-BC, Ed.D , welcomed the audience in both English and Spanish and introduced the ceremonial events, highlighting the description provided on the slide presentation. Graduating students were recognized with “Thank You” slides from their families and with an historical pictorial account of the student nursing days at HCC.
This ceremony would not have been possible without the efforts of the Pinning Committee Members and the Student Nursing Association (SNA). The latter group was instrumental in escorting the audience members, faculty and administration and for providing all the decorations and flowers. Special thanks are extended to members of the Pinning Committee: Galye Palmberg, Vicki Crews, Maria Bautista Smith, Christopher Bell, Kristina Nappi. All of HCC Nursing Faculty members were involved in pinning the students and assisting them with lightening of the candles.
Article written by: Dale Mabry Staff