Nursing seniors receive ceremonial pinning, blessing of the hands to commemorate graduation
The Department of Nursing recently held a blessing of the hands and pinning ceremony for 2020 graduates on June 6-8.
Pinning nursing graduates dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, Nightingale presented a medal of excellence to her graduating nurses.
“We continue this tradition today at Salve, affirming the extraordinary courage, compassion, commitment and spirit that the students are called to manifest throughout their nursing profession,” described Dr. Debra Cheribini, assistant professor and chairwoman of the nursing department. “We are blessing the students hands in recognition of the sacred and healing work they will be doing for those who have been entrusted in their care.”
To comply with the requirement of social distancing, the pinning ceremony was done for one student at a time with only a few guests present, and everyone wore masks. Alongside the pinning, the blessing of the hands was suggested with the thought that this would be a wonderful way to celebrate graduation and receiving the nursing pins this year in the midst of a pandemic.
The ceremony included information on how the blessing of hands has occurred throughout time, and water was placed on the students hands. The family members present traced the sign of the cross on the students’ hands. A prayer was said over the hands and the nursing pin of the student, and the ceremony ended with all nurses present stating The Nightingale Pledge, a historical pledge that many nurses recite as they graduate.
The 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 maintain the highest standards of my profession.
I will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping in the practice of my calling.
I 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 on 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 seek to care for 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 all humankind.
While the pandemic did change the way the pinning was handled, it did not change the impact that these Salve Regina graduates will have on the world as they go forward with their nursing path.
“The nursing department would like to congratulate our students on their graduation and tell them how very proud we are of each of them,” said Cherubini. “It has been a privilege and a blessing to be a part of their academic journey. Our students embody the Mercy mission, and we wish them the very best in all of their future endeavors.”
Video: An excerpt from the ceremony.