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Husson University Holds Virtual Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Published on: May 13, 2020

Husson University students receiving their nursing pin

BANGOR, MAINE - Husson University’s School of Nursing held a virtual pinning ceremony on May 8 that honored graduates from their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. The online stream of the pre-recorded video ceremony began at 1 p.m. EST that day and was available to all Husson School of Nursing graduates and their families though a link located on the University’s website. A recorded version of the ceremony is available at

“The nurse pinning ceremony marks a transition from an academic life to a professional life,” said Husson University President, Robert A. Clark, Ph.D. “At this particular time in our nation’s history, I want to thank all of our nursing students for the service they’re providing as they move forward in the healthcare professions. I know, first-hand, as the parent of a Husson nursing graduate how much work they’ve put in toward earning their degrees.”

“While we are still hoping to have a live graduation event this fall, this presentation provided the University with the opportunity to honor our nursing students virtually,” said Lynne Coy-Ogan, EdD, the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Husson University. “Today’s nurses are expected to be knowledgeable, competent and able to work collaboratively in a complex interprofessional environment. We are confident that the coursework and clinical experiences we provided to our nursing students prepared them to effectively address the challenges associated with being a healthcare professional, including those posed by COVID-19.”

The presentation included remarks from a variety of Husson leaders. They included:

  • Robert A. Clark, PhD, president.
  • Lynne Coy-Ogan, EdD, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost
  • Rhonda Waskiewicz, EdD, OT, dean of the College of Health and Pharmacy
  • Valerie Sauda, PhD, MSN, RN-BC, MGSF, chief nurse administrator and assistant professor, School of Nursing
  • Elizabeth Owen, Husson University nursing student, Class of 2020.

The various presentations by these individuals talked about the future of the nursing profession, the important attributes of professional nurses, and the symbolism and significance of the nursing pin,

Following these presentations by Husson University leaders, students were pinned on-camera in a series of pre-recorded videos by members of their families. Over 40 family videos of the pinning taking place at students’ homes were included in the presentation. 

Toward the conclusion of the video presentation, Nick Eddy, a Husson nursing student from the class of 2020 led the entire audience in the reading of the Nightingale pledge. This pledge is based on an oath originally created by Florence Nightingale, a renowned nurse and the founder of the first professional training school for nurses.[1]


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 Nightingale 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: 

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity, and to practice my profession faithfully.

 I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.

I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.

With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.




At the conclusion of the video presentation, Laurie Eddy, MSN, RN, FNP - BC, WHCNP, an assistant professor at the Husson University School of Nursing presented the Watch Award and the Dean’s Award.

The Watch Award is given to students with the highest grade point average (GPA) in their degree program. Students who received the Watch Award included:



Degree Program



Sophie Vetter

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)


Patten, Maine

Stephanie Michaud

Master of Science in Nursing


Fort Kent, Maine

Lisa Harris

Master of Science in Nursing


Valdosta, Georgia


The Dean’s Award is given to students in recognition of their student involvement, school spirit, and their positive attitude. The nursing student who received the Dean’s Award included:



Ryan Tham

Kampar, Perak in Malaysia


About Husson University:

For more than 120 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 center in Northern Maine both 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. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit


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

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

[3] Ibid

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