I just returned from a most enjoyable commencement week event - the nursing pinning ceremony.
The ceremony can be traced back hundreds of years and today is celebrated by nursing school graduates around the world. Students process into the auditorium carrying candles that represent their connection to Florence Nightingale and their transition into the profession. At Nazareth, the custom includes a student developed video describing the dreams of each graduate. A faculty member then gives each student a pin and tells the student to ask a loved one to attach it. Our ceremony is memorable as well because it occurs during Nurses Week, a time dedicated to honoring the nursing profession in the U.S.
This year’s event was especially historic for Nazareth. We are the only school in the United States to have received a grant that allows us to partner with nursing schools in Hungary and Finland. Students rotate among the three schools, focusing part of their studies on cross-cultural nursing. Today, we recognized the first students—one from Nazareth and the other from Semmelweis University in Hungary—who will receive dual-degrees from the schools.
Not far from Nazareth’s campus is the grave site of Lillian Wald, a pioneering public health nurse and one of the most respected and influential social reformers of the 20th century. As I sat through the ceremony I could not help but think that Ms. Wald would be proud that a Nazareth education is grounded on the importance of “making a difference” and dedicated to the principles of trans-cultural nursing. I was very proud of our students.