Nursing Pinning Ceremony
To commemorate the end of academic studies and the beginning of a professional career as a nurse, nursing students are honored each year as part of commencement festivities with a pinning ceremony.
History traces the tradition back to the Crusades of the 12th Century, when a group of knights tended to and cared for the injured and suffering crusaders. When new monks were brought into the Knights Order, they decided to continue helping sick soldiers and held a ceremony where each monk was given a Maltese cross that they wore on their arm.
During the 1860s, Florence Nightingale was honored with the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless efforts to injured men during the Crimean War. Because she believed in acknowledging a job well done, she presented a medal of excellence to her hardest working nursing graduates. That recognition eventually evolved to pinning nursing graduates during a special ceremony. The pin was provided by the hospital school of nursing to the students to identify them as nurses and act as proof of their education.