It takes a special type of person to choose a career dedicated to serving the needs of others. Graduating students of OSU Institute of Technology’s nursing program will pledge themselves to the sacred work they have chosen during a special pinning ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 26.
The pinning ceremony signifies the completion of their initial professional nursing education. Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, started the tradition over 150 years ago by presenting graduates of the nursing school she founded with a medal or symbolic “badge of courage.” The medal was meant to encourage her students to faithfully serve the injured, sick and dying in challenging situations and often dangerous circumstances. Over the years, this medal evolved into a pin indicating the institution from which the nurse received their training.
In the nine years of its existence, OSUIT’s nursing program has produced over 186 registered nurses currently serving patients throughout the country. Jodi Campbell, an OSUIT nursing instructor said of this spring’s graduating class, “They have been one of the most collaborative and creative groups we’ve ever had in our program. They also achieved some of the highest exit scores as a class, demonstrating the theoretical knowledge required in our profession.”
During the pinning ceremony, graduates will first be reminded of the significance of the event in their careers. While they are being pinned by a person of the student’s choosing, a nursing instructor will read the student’s dedication they wrote for the occasion. These dedications recognize loved ones or spiritual forces that helped them achieve this milestone, acknowledging the fact they didn’t make the journey alone but with the support of others.
The conclusion of the ceremony will be a lamp lighting ritual also referencing back to Florence Nightingale. During the Crimean War, she made history by taking 38 women to Turkey to nurse sick and wounded British soldiers. Often Nightingale was seen working late into the night, carrying a lamp to visit the bedside of patients she was treating. This earned her the nickname, “lady with the lamp” and the lamp icon became the symbol of nursing.
As a tribute to Nightingale’s dedication and compassion, her pledge will be read and each graduate will carry a lamp lit by a nursing instructor demonstrating their intention to carry her ideals forward.
The Florence Nightingale Pledge
“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly to faithfully practice my profession of nursing. I will do all in my power to make and maintain the highest standards and practices of my profession.
I will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping in the practice of my calling. I will assist the physician in his work and will devote myself to the welfare of my patients, my family, and my community.
I will endeavor to fulfill my rights and privileges as a good citizen and take my share of responsibility in promoting the health and welfare of the community.
I will constantly endeavor to increase my knowledge and skills in nursing and to use them wisely. I will zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need.
I will be active in assisting others in safeguarding and promoting the health and happiness of mankind.”