June 12, 2018

Class of 2018: Students today, alumni tomorrow, nurses forever

UCalgary Nursing launches first-ever pinning ceremony to celebrate new nurses


Faculty of Nursing Staff

On June 4, the Faculty of Nursing celebrated its Bachelor of Nursing graduands at an inaugural pinning ceremony before convocation.

A pinning ceremony is a traditional part of many nursing institutions’ graduating events. The pinning formalizes the transition from student to professional nurse. The tradition itself has roots back to the 12th century but is more typically associated with Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing, who presented medals of excellence to exemplary nursing graduates at her London school.

By the early 20th century, it became standard in North America to award all nursing graduates a pin to celebrate their successes as students and their futures in the profession.

UCalgary graduated 268 nursing students in the Class of 2018 from main campus and the Medicine Hat College site. They join the almost 8,000 nurses who are UCalgary alumni currently shaping health care in Alberta and beyond.

At the event, nursing dean Dr. Dianne Tapp, MN’93, PhD’97, and Faculty of Nursing Alumni Committee president Kate Wong, BN’12, both gave opening remarks. Members of the nursing alumni executive were on stage to pin and welcome the new grads to the nursing alumni family. As a group, the students along with Dean Tapp recited the International Council of Nurses pledge together.

“Staying connected to this faculty as an alumnus has given me the opportunity to find mentorship, to be a mentor, and to find people who understand the challenges and triumphs of life as an RN,” Wong told the graduates. “Nursing is not an easy job. You will meet people on their worst days and in their most frightening moments, but know you have the ability to make that worst day a little bit better.

"Despite the challenges ahead, you will be present for some of the most exciting, miraculous, and memorable moments in someone’s life. There is no greater privilege than to be someone’s nurse.”