It’s a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the nursing profession, a symbol of their achievement in education and transition into professional practice, as well as a visual expression of their dedication to serving others.
Sixty-one Cal State Fullerton undergraduate nursing students stood before family and friends on the eve of their commencement (Thursday, May 17) and recited the Nightingale Pledge and received their nursing pins from faculty members, completing an evening steeped in tradition.
I solemnly pledge myself before God
and in the presence of this assembly,
To pass my life in purity
and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious
and mischievous, and will not take
or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain
and elevate the standard of my profession,
and will hold in confidence
all personal matters committed to my keeping
and all family affairs coming to my knowledge
in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor
To aid the physician in his work,
And devote myself to the welfare
Of those committed to my care.
“Nurses make a very real difference in our lives and in our families,” said Laurie Roades, dean of the College of Health and Human Development. “We are so proud of you and celebrate with you on this achievement.”
President Fram Virjee agreed, saying that before the ceremony, he hadn’t been feeling all that great, but when he saw the energy and enthusiasm of the nursing students, “I felt better … I already know that I’m in good hands [being here with you tonight].
“And you have been in good hands here at Cal State Fullerton. Every one of you, graduates of this program, by virtue of your study and avocation, are among the brightest,” he said, noting the 70 percent graduation rate for those in the bachelor of science in nursing program. “Pinning is an award of excellence. I am so proud to be here, and so proud of you.”
Deanna Jung, assistant professor of nursing and B.S.N. Pre-licensure Programs coordinator, explained to the audience that the nursing pin originated as a medal awarded to Florence Nightingale in recognition of her service in the Crimean War. Since 1916, pins have been awarded to all nursing graduates as a proof of their education. “Each pin represents the program the nurse has graduated from. The CSUF pin is round, representing the circle of life. The orange tree represents academia and personal growth and is a symbol of the university … sun rays represent vision and confidence.”
Before the actual pinning, students also heard from Judy Hervey, a nursing lecturer chosen by the scholars themselves. Hervey focused on the word advocacy and defined it as “one who pleads the cause of another. It is easy to understand but difficult to do.
“You must be an advocate for your patient. It may feel uncomfortable, feel like you’re on a rocking boat … and afraid of the consequences,” she said. “Fear may stop you but remember it keeps you from growing, evolving and becoming the best nurse you can be.”
So keep fear at bay, she explained. “Support the patient no matter what the cost … .
“We faculty have tried to hold you to the very highest of standards — and it’s been painful at times. But now you’ve completed this prestigious degree, so let’s get you pinned.”
Each student selected a nursing educator that they felt especially close to. Among the comments:
Julie Gye Won Kim chose Jane Williams, saying “you molded my clinical practice and made me a lifelong learner.”
Abigale Rodriguez chose Hervey, explaining “somehow you made me love difficult material … my future patients are lucky I had you.”
Kristie Hazel Ngo was pinned by Kate Bayhan: “She is an exemplary nurse. I aspire to be a nurse like her.”