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Why wear a nursing pin?

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Did you ever wonder why nurses who have been through their life journey in nursing school and finally grew in their nursing career give so much importance to their nursing pin? It’s just a pin. Why care so much? Well, if you have just started nursing school or is about to get into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, you won’t appreciate the significance of the nursing pin until you complete your journey.

The nursing pin is not just a pin. It is a symbol of educated service. It means you have been through a rigorous process of completing the requirements for a BSN nursing degree. You must join the nursing pinning ceremony which is a rite of passage for nursing graduates for you to obtain the graduation nursing pin. You don’t just purchase this freely over-the-counter.

The pinning ceremony is an important nursing tradition that honors and celebrates the success of nursing students. It is conducted a few weeks before nursing graduation ceremony in some schools. Other universities conduct their pinning ceremony after the nursing graduate has successfully passed the board examinations. The pinning ceremony signifies the nursing student’s official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses.

The history of the rite of passage for nurses dates to the Crusades of the 12th Century. It was the era when the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist tended to the injured crusaders. These men were considered as the early nurses in the history of nursing. New monks were initiated into the Order and they vowed to serve the sick soldiers during a ceremony where each of them was given a Maltese cross. The Crusaders wore the Maltese Cross as a symbol of service, a Christian service to the sick and wounded. These became the badges of those ancient nurses.

During the 1860s, Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George, in recognition of her dedicated service during the Crimean War. She shared the honor to her nursing students by awarding the excellent nursing graduates with a medal of excellence. A badge with a Maltese Cross was awarded to the young nurses who completed the program at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. In 1916, the pinning ceremonies started in the U.S. and in England.

The nursing pin today is presented to the graduate nurse or the graduating nurse during a meaningful graduation pinning ceremony. This symbolizes the completion of educational requirements, graduation from nursing school and enables the graduate nurse to sit for NCLEX licensure examination and practice nursing in the U.S. Other countries award the nursing pin after the graduate nurse pass the licensure examination and is now ready to embark into the career world of nursing. So, why wear a nursing pin? Simple. No longer a student nurse, you are a professional nurse who is dignified, honored and recognized as you represent your nursing school and the nursing profession in the service to humanity and society.

Graduation Nursing Pin


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