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Husson University Pinning Ceremony Welcomes New Nurses Into the Profession

Published on: April 26, 2018

Nurse receiving a pin during the pinning ceremony

BANGOR, MAINE - Husson University’s School of Nursing announced today that they will be holding a pinning ceremony honoring the graduates of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. Traditionally, this ceremony was dedicated to honoring Husson University/Eastern Maine Medical Center baccalaureate graduates. This year, for the first time, this ceremony will also honor graduates from Husson University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on May 4, 2018 at Husson’s Newman Gymnasium in Bangor.

Deborah Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, a Baldrige Executive Fellow, and vice president of nursing and patient care services at Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) will be this year’s keynote speaker. Her speech will focus on professionalism, civility and professional boundaries.

During pinning ceremonies, undergraduate and graduate nursing students are symbolically welcomed into the nursing profession. They are presented with Husson University/Eastern Maine Medical Center BSN or Husson University MSN nursing pins by a family member. As part of the ceremony, graduate nurses and registered nurses (RNs) receiving a higher degree will be asked to recite a pledge based on an oath originally created by Florence Nightingale, a renowned nurse and the founder of the first professional training school for nurses.[1]

“Pinning ceremonies are different from graduation and licensure examinations. At graduation, students are recognized for completing their degree requirements. Passing licensure exams demonstrates that students have met the state requirements to become professional healthcare providers,” said Donna Beuk, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, chair of Husson University’s School of Nursing.

“In contrast, a pinning ceremony serves as an acknowledgement by our faculty that a student is ready to fulfill the requirements of being a nurse. Our ceremony marks an important milestone

where students are recognized as members of an elite fraternity of men and women dedicated to caring for others,” noted Beuk.


History of the Pinning Ceremony:

The pinning ceremony has been a part of Husson University’s nursing school tradition since 1986 when the first class of BSN students graduated. This rite of passage can be traced back to the Crusades of the 12th century. During this time, the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist tended to injured and infirm Crusaders. When new monks were initiated into the order, they vowed to serve these sick soldiers in a ceremony where each monk was given a Maltese cross, the first badges given to those who nurse.[2]

The modern ceremony dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, she in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. By 1916, the pinning new graduates was a standard practice throughout the U.S.[3]


The Pledge:

As part of the pinning ceremony, Husson nursing students will be asked to make the following pledge, based on one originally crafted by Florence Nightingale:

Before those assembled here, I solemnly pledge;

To adhere to the code of ethics of the nursing profession;

To co-operate faithfully with the other members of the nursing team and to faithfully carry out and to the best of my ability, the instructions of the physician or the nurse who may be assigned to supervise my work;

I will not do anything evil or malicious and I will not knowingly give any harmful drug or assist in malpractice.

I will not reveal any confidential information that may come to my knowledge in the course of my work.

And I pledge myself to do all in my power to raise the standards and prestige of the practical nursing;

May my life be devoted to service and to the high ideals of the nursing profession.

About Husson University:

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

[1] “In the know: The history and importance of the pinning ceremony,” ,

[2] Ibid 

[3] “Florence Nightingale Biography,” Florence Nightingale Museum,

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