CON Pinning Ceremony Celebrates New Nursing Grads
On Friday, December 18 at First Southern Baptist Church, 60 graduating nurses walked across the stage as part of GCU’s College of Nursing Convocation and Pinning Ceremony. These nurses have completed their BSN degrees in pre-licensure as well as RN-BSN.
This unique ceremony dates back centuries. The modern tradition followed today began in the 1860s when Queen Victoria awarded the Red Cross of St. George to Florence Nightingale for her work with British soldiers. In turn, Nightingale extended her honor to outstanding nursing graduates at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London.
The ceremony is considered the symbolic beginning of a graduate’s nursing career. The pin itself is a symbol of the tradition shared by nurses around the world. It is worn prominently on the nurse’s uniform throughout their career.
“Every school has a unique pin,” says CON Dean Dr. Anne McNamara. “If you look at the Grand Canyon College of Nursing pin, it reflects the logo of GCU with the cross of Jesus Christ and the saguaro cactus.”
The ceremony also honored ROTC nursing graduates who have achieved the standards necessary to not only graduate as nurses but also earn commissions as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
The ROTC students commissioned include Genevieve Espiritu, Leonard Pacheco and Daryl Laux. In addition, Nicole Carr was commissioned as an Ensign into the United States Public Health Nurse Corps by her husband, Lieutenant James B. Carr.
RN-BSN graduate and new adjunct faculty for GCU’s CON, Susan Tucek, remarked on how the unique presence of ROTC commissions added a special element to the ceremony.
“There was a great infusion of God and country with the ROTC presentations,” she says. “It was awesome to honor the nurses who have joined the military.”
The CON Convocation and Pinning Ceremony is separate from the typical graduation ceremony. Tucek says she and many of her fellow graduates, will return in May for the University-wide graduation.