Throwing an Awards Ceremony for Nursing School Graduates

Nursing is one of the most intense majors, yet offers one of the most rewarding careers. Many colleges, universities, and nursing schools across the country hold annual or semi-annual awards ceremonies to honor their nursing students who have completed the program. These ceremonies are held specifically to recognize students for their accomplishments. Throwing an awards ceremony dates back for more than 100 years, and now serves as a symbol of the students passage into the nursing profession. 

Awards Ceremony

Nursing schools typically hold their awards ceremony in conjunction with their graduation ceremony, whereas colleges and universities usually hold this ceremony on a different night. Oftentimes, all of the nursing graduating will be honored in some way during the awards ceremony. However, some ceremonies are used to award only the top performing nursing students in the class. The layout and design of the ceremonies varies from school to school, but most ceremonies include a pinning ceremony and the students recite the Nightingale Pledge.

The Pinning Ceremony

One of the main features of the awards ceremony is the special pinning ceremony, where each nursing student receives a pin from one of the member of the school’s faculty. This type of ceremony is thought to date back to the 12th century during the time of the Crusades, when those in the medical profession were acknowledged for their dedication to the wounded. The ceremony’s modern origins date back to the time of nursing legend, Florence Nightingale, in the 1800s. Nightingale made it a tradition to recognize the top nursing student with a medal of honor during a special awards ceremony.

This tradition changed over the years to include all students and pins are now typically awarded rather than a medal of honor. These specialty pins are used to represent several different things, including the dedication of the nurse, respect for the nursing profession, and the courage nurses always have. Graduating nurses consider these pins to be a medal of honor and continue to proudly wear them throughout the duration of their nursing career. There may be different pins awards to different levels of accomplishment, such as a different pin for baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate levels.

The Nightingale Pledge

The Nightingale Pledge has been recited by nursing students for more than 100 years. It is similar to the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors and requires students to agree to maintain a certain level of ethics throughout their career. This pledge was created by members of the Committee for the Ferrand Training School for Nursing, in Michigan in honor of Florence Nightingale. The pledge has changed slightly over the years, but is still recited by many nursing school graduates across the country during their awards ceremony.

If you are throwing an awards ceremony for nursing school graduates, the one thing you want to remember is to start planning early. One of the first things you need to do is order your custom-made nursing student’s lapel pins. A custom-made pin can include the name of your school, college or university and any additional wording or emblems you choose. This will make your pins special and stand out for the students.

You also need to set a date for your ceremony and determine the specific layout for the evening. Many schools now have a special awards ceremony that acknowledges high achieving students combined with the pinning ceremony that honors all graduating nursing students. If your school already holds a traditional awards ceremony for nursing school graduates, it is best not to stray too far away from the original ceremony layout. Any changes should be made slowly over a period of time, as not to offend anyone.

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