McMaster University

McMaster University

New graduates receive their nursing pins, a "symbolic medal of honour"

By Amanda Boundris

New graduates of the BScN program
New graduates of the BScN program line up to receive their nursing pins on June 11.

Following their convocation on June 11, graduates of the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program participated in the pinning ceremony, a time-honoured nursing school tradition that marks a graduate's passage from student to practising nurse.

The pinning ceremony dates back before the turn of the twentieth century. These ceremonies are held all over the world and nurses wear their pin when they are in uniform caring for patients. McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College each held their own pinning ceremony at the Hamilton Convention Centre after students graduated earlier in the day.

At McMaster’s pinning ceremony, Lynda Bentley Poole, an assistant professor with the School of Nursing (SON), told the new nurses that the nursing pin is "a symbolic medal of honour," and said that "nurses honour a patient’s right to enter life safely and to exit with dignity."

She added: "Every patient you have the privilege of encountering will teach you something about yourself and what it means to be a nurse."

Catherine Tompkins, associate dean of Health Sciences and director of the SON, said: "For each and every one of you, you will make a difference, not just with patients and families, but with colleagues, as part of an interprofessional health-care team, with students and within the nursing profession."

Claire Wolfe, the valedictorian for the McMaster ceremony, reminded the class of 2013 that great responsibility comes with the fact that "People not only trust us with their lives, but with confidential information they may not even share with their loved ones."

She encouraged the group to "Dream those big dreams. Be the nurses you want to be."

At each pinning ceremony awards were also presented to graduated students who had excelled, and one practising nurse for each site was given a BScN Preceptor Award of Distinction for their contribution to the clinical education of a graduating student.

Winners of the 2013 BScN Preceptor Awards of Distinction:

  • Karen Boyajian (McMaster University) — Hamilton General Hospital
  • Linda Rosart (Mohawk College) — Mohawk HS
  • Lisa Rae (Conestoga College) — Wellington Community Care
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