On Friday, May 21, 2021, the College of Nursing held its annual Pinning Ceremony at the Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) Campus. Not only was it an in-person event, but the College also invited the graduating classes of Fall 2019, Spring 2020, August 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 in the ABSN, BSN and CNL programs to receive their pins.
The history of the pinning ceremony goes back more than 160 years, with the first one taking place in the 1860s at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas' Hospital in London. In 1880, Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing in New York City was the first school in the United States to honor its graduates with a nursing pin. By 1916, pinning ceremonies were common across North America and the United Kingdom.
Seton Hall's first pinning ceremony took place in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in 1957, when the pin was presented to graduates of the newly established generic nursing program. Since that time, pinning ceremonies have celebrated the achievement of meeting the high standards of the College of Nursing.
This year's ceremony was conducted on the front lawn of the IHS campus, with social distancing and mask rules still in effect since the state had only updated its rules two days prior. While other local colleges conducted their pinning ceremonies virtually, the College of Nursing felt it was important to not only conduct this event in person but invite nursing students from previous graduation years who may not have had a chance to receive their pins.
During her congratulatory remarks, Dean Marie Foley, Ph.D., RN, CNL acknowledged how the nursing pin is a symbol of pride and accomplishment that unites nurses all over the world, saying, "Your pins represent dedication to patients, respect for life, caring and compassion. Wear this pin with pride."
"This has certainly not been the senior year that you expected," added Foley. "And while your first year as a nurse may not be as difficult as your classmates who graduated last May, it will certainly not be a typical first year that most new graduates experience. Whatever you may face, know that you have been prepared to face any challenges presented to you and given the ability to overcome any obstacles placed in your path."
The invocation and benediction were given by Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry Rev. Antonio T. Sarento Jr., M.Div. '15/M.A. '19. Father Anton, as he is known on campus, also delivered the Blessing of Pins:
Almighty God, we ask you to bless these Nursing Pins.
These pins represent the culmination of the education and hard work of these nurses.
These pins represent the happiness our nurses feel today.
They represent their dedication to the promotion of health, to the care of the sick, the aged, and the infirm.
May these pins always remind our nurses of those with whom they have studied and learned.
May these pins always remind these nurses of the Professional Nursing Pledge that they take today.
May these nurses always wear their pins with pride.
Almighty God, grant this our prayer, through Christ our Lord.
The ceremony's closing remarks were delivered by Judith Lucas, Ed.D., RN, associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs and assessment. "Now as we leave this moving ceremony, I want you to remember these nursing pins cannot be considered just a piece of jewelry or a mere reminder of graduation, like a mortarboard or tassel," said Lucas. "Your Seton Hall Nursing pin connects you to all the Seton Hall Nurses who have come before you — and to every nurse who has ever accepted the responsibilities of this great and rewarding profession.
"We are all so very proud of each and everyone of you! It has been an honor to be part of your journey on the path to becoming a Seton Hall Professional Nurse," she concluded.