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Bachelor of Science in Nursing Pinning Ceremony: May 13, 2021

Welcome to the virtual Pinning Ceremony for graduates of the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing & Health Sciences BS in Nursing program.

Congratulations to the 93 students who are receiving their nursing pins in this special virtual ceremony today. They have completed a rigorous four-year undergraduate nursing program and represent the second class of UMass Dartmouth nursing graduates to complete their studies during a pandemic. Despite having remote classes, they were able to complete their clinicals and are graduating “academically and clinically strong,” according to Associate Professor Elizabeth Chin. Upon passing their board exams in a few months, these students will become registered nurses.

Pinning Ceremony continues an historic tradition

An historic tradition with roots that date back to the Crusades, the Pinning Ceremony officially marks a student’s transition from nursing student to professional nurse. The first pinning ceremony was held at the College of Nursing & Health Sciences (CNHS) in 1974, and the tradition continues nearly 50 years later with students honored at this event today.

As explained in the video by CNHS Dean Kimberly Christopher, the nursing pin also symbolizes service with its rights and responsibilities, students’ academic accomplishments, and a bond among UMass Dartmouth nursing graduates.

Ceremony concludes National Nurses Week

This year’s ceremony is especially symbolic as it coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 and the conclusion of National Nurses Week, celebrated from May 6-12 each year. This year’s theme is “Year of the Nurse: Excel-Lead-Innovate.”

In this virtual ceremony that welcomes students to the nursing profession, you will share the excitement of our graduates and hear from Dean Christopher; guest speaker Sandy Summers, executive director of The Truth About Nursing; and student speaker Shaun Noonan ’21. The program is led by Clinical Assistant Professor Valerie Seney.

“I still recall the moment when my own children pinned me and all the excitement and emotion I experienced as I inched one step closer to becoming a nurse,” said Seney in her opening remarks.

“This is a time of celebration for all that you have accomplished. It is a time of thanks, for all of those who helped you work hard, to never give up, and to achieve the dream of becoming a nurse,” Seney added. “I speak for all of your faculty as I say, ‘Congratulations for a job well done.’”

Dean Christopher thanked family and friends for supporting today’s nursing graduates as well as the CNHS faculty and staff, Assistant Dean Karen Barnett, and the ceremony’s Planning Committee.

“For the nursing profession, these are challenging and exciting times,” Dean Christopher said. “Nurses have and will continue to make imperative and essential contributions to the health and well being of all members of our society. Graduates, I urge you to embrace these opportunities to contribute. Give them your very best effort. Approach each opportunity with an open mind, an open heart, a sense of humility, and a sense of humor.”

She urged the graduates to keep in touch with faculty as they progress through their careers, join the alumni association, mentor future nursing students, and return to the college for graduate degrees.

Lift each other up, says guest speaker Sandra Summers

Guest speaker Sandra Summers is the co-author of Saving Lives: Why the Media’s Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk. Since 2001, she has led the effort to change how the world views nursing by challenging damaging media depictions of nurses. She speaks frequently about nursing’s image and empowering nurses to change how they are perceived. Her work has been covered widely on television programs such as CNN and 20/20, as a guest on myriad radio shows, and in hundreds of print articles, from the Associated Press to United Press International and from the New York Times to the Times of India.

In addition to speaking about her work, Summers spoke about how nurses create control from chaos. “What would have happened if nurses didn’t respond to COVID? If none of us had responded . . . it would be spreading out of control, and there would be no systemic response—it would be a society in dysfunction. We are the front lines. We are the ones who transform chaos into control. Be proud of who you are.

“So, now it’s time for you to go out in the world. Make it better. Make the nursing profession better,” Summers added. “If your friends and colleagues make a great save, praise them effusively. We can lift each other up this way. Make hospitals better. Make communities better. Make society healthier. Take care of the patient in the bed before you, but also consider the wider world in need of your help, in need of change, transformation. You are educated, you are a professional, you can do it. I’m so proud of you.”

Shaun Noonan’ 21 congratulated his classmates and recalled their early days of nursing school. “It is unbelievable that four years ago, we opened the doors of UMass Dartmouth and began our nursing career as complete strangers, and now we are basically a family. The bond we have created throughout will be a bond we bring with us forever.

“We are going to enter our careers in a time where we are needed most, and I cannot be prouder to become a nurse,” Noonan continued. “We have persevered during these unprecedented times –we came together as a team, a class, and more importantly, as future nurses to care for those in need.”

The ceremony concludes with the recitation of the Nightingale Pledge led by Assistant Dean Karen Barnett.

ABSN Virtual Pinning Ceremony: December 14, 2020

Welcome to the Virtual Pinning Ceremony for graduates of the Second Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program.

Congratulations to the 19 students who are receiving their nursing pins in this virtual ceremony. They have completed an accelerated 17-month nursing program for a second bachelor’s degree after earning a bachelor’s degree in another field.

These students have worked as a CNA, chiropractor, EMT, grant writer, junior interior designer, and social worker in their previous careers. They earned bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry, communication studies, molecular biology, psychology, sociology, and social work and a doctor of chiropractic medicine before enrolling in this full-time program.

Online classes were complemented by face-to-face lab and clinical experiences that were held at Bradley Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island, Southcoast Behavioral Health in Dartmouth, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, MA, and St Anne’s Hospital in Fall River. Upon completing their board exams, these nursing students will become registered nurses.

Today, we celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of each of our ABSN graduates. You will hear from College of Nursing & Health Sciences Dean Kimberly Christopher and Clinical Assistant Professor Kiley Medeiros.  Guest speaker Natasha Nurse-Clarke, PhD, assistant professor of nursing at Lehman College in New York and founder of The Online Educator, a virtual community for online instructors, will speak about self-care for nurses. You'll also hear from two members of the ABSN Class of 2020, Ashley Lynn Diaz Carter and Ben McGuire. The ceremony concludes with the recitation of the Nightingale Pledge led by Assistant Dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences Karen Barnett, DNP, RN.

The Pinning Ceremony is an historic tradition

An historic tradition with roots that date back to the Crusades, the Pinning Ceremony officially marks a student’s transition from nursing student to professional nurse. The first pinning ceremony was held at the College of Nursing & Health Sciences in 1974, and the tradition continues nearly 50 years later with students honored at this event.

As explained in the video by Dean Christopher, the nursing pin also symbolizes service with its rights and responsibilities, students’ academic accomplishments, and a bond among UMass Dartmouth nursing classmates.

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