NSU Holds Historic 60th Nursing Anniversary Pinning Ceremony

In December, 11 NSU student nurses made history when they became the University’s first Traditional Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing candidates to be pinned. The 10 women and 1 man walked to the front of a large classroom and were pinned by their professors.

For 59 years, Norfolk State has held pinning ceremonies for nursing candidates who completed the two-year associate program; however, that program ended in July 2014 and the new traditional nursing program began.

Nursing pinning ceremony

Students pictured in ascending order from right to left: Kiera Turner, Benicia Hall, Aileen Marquand, Hownetta Haynes, Amelia McLloyd, James Bonner, Kassandra Irizarry, Dana Voght, Jasmine Washington, Keeyana O’Bannon, Jessica Hall

The Pinning Ceremony marks the rite of passage from student nurse to professional nurse and has been conducted at NSU since its first class in 1957. It signifies that those pinned have met the program’s standards and after graduation can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). As part of the ceremony, the group lit candles and took the Florence Nightingale pledge.

“The new nurses receive their pin which is inscribed with the school name, the degree attained and the graduation year,” said Dr. Frances Gray, assistant professor and BSN Program Coordinator. “Every student that wears the pin is proudly showing their loyalty to NSU and their pride in their chosen profession.”

Two of the 11 students reflected on what it meant to get pinned. “It is so awesome that not only are we the first graduating transitional traditional BSN cohort but that this year also marks the 60th anniversary of when the first NSU nurses graduated and were once where I am today,” said Benicia T. Hall ’15. Her classmate, Amelia McLoyd ’15, said the pinning ceremony had important meaning for her. “It is an honor to get pinned and to be able to wear the medal as a badge of my dedication to nursing.”

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