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Nursing Students Celebrate Milestone Achievement at Pinning Ceremony

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The May 15 nurse pinning ceremony was a time to recognize and celebrate more than 100 undergraduate nursing students’ achievements before family, friends and other supporters.

The students’ accomplishments and successes in completing all requirements to graduate will be recognized once again Saturday, May 18, during Cal State Fullerton’s annual commencement celebration May 17-19. 

“Tonight, we are proud of you, congratulate you and celebrate with you,” said Laurie Roades, dean of the College of Health and Human Development. “You will always be a part of the school, this college and this university.”

President Fram Virjee echoed those sentiments, noting that “At this university we help transform lives and we’re proud of that, but it’s quite another to save lives and you have dedicated yourselves to doing that.”

As part of the 100-plus year tradition that serves as a rite of passage into the nursing profession, students are “pinned” and recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge promising that they will practice their profession faithfully, maintain and elevate the standard of their profession and dedicate themselves to the welfare of those committed to their care.

During Cal State Fullerton’s program, nursing students thanked those who have supported them through the long hours of study, practice and work/life challenges, including family, friends, peers and teachers.

“When we entered this program, no one told us we were taking on one of the hardest challenges,” said student speaker Danielle Larracas, representing students who went through the traditional bachelor of science in nursing program. Monica Deomampo and Maria Herrera, represented the accelerated BSN and registered nurse to BSN programs. “We have conquered it and we have won!

“Our dreams don’t end here,” she added. “With each experience, we will be growing as individuals and as nurses.”

As students filed up on stage, they were welcomed by faculty members they had selected to “pin” them, expressing how much they appreciated and were supported by these teachers’ efforts.

“You are the nurse role model that I aspire to be,” said Marlon Chawie Sy about educator Zendaida Co.

“Thank you for believing in me and always encouraging me,” said Sherrel Parnell to fellow nursing alumnus Austin Nation, now an assistant professor of nursing. “You have gone above and beyond in teaching me,” agreed Lisa Pico. “You have made a meaningful impression on my life.”

“You have opened my eyes to a new path in nursing,” said Jamie Bentley to Maria Matza, associate professor of nursing. “I only hope I can be every bit as empathic and caring as you.”

Faculty speaker Judy Hervey stressed to the students what she had learned in more than 37 years of practice: that nurses need to “educate, educate, educate” in order to empower others, and to be advocates for their patients and their profession. She concluded by saying, “If I could give you anything, I would give you a candle that burns as brightly as you do.

“It is absolutely amazing how a single candle can shine so brightly. Go out and shine brightly. Make us proud.”