On December 17, 2015, the Goodwin auditorium was near capacity with faculty, staff, friends, classmates, and family members, all gathered to honor the latest class of graduates from the College’s Nursing Degree program. The cold rain falling outside had no effect on the spirit of celebrants of the program’s 32nd pinning ceremony.
Before taking the final steps to become RNs, the 63 students gathered in the Community Room to receive final instructions from Department Chair Janice Watts and to pose for a class photo. They moved to the rear of the auditorium for a slide show highlighting moments from their journeys to the pinning ceremony — some serous, many humorous, all moving. Then, taking their places in the procession behind the Nursing faculty, the students entered the auditorium to the cheers and applause of the audience.
Watts offered welcoming remarks, and — as she is known to do — moved the students with her emotional and encouraging words about the profession they were about to enter. Faculty advisor Paula Bowley welcomed 23 new members to Alpha Delta Nu, the Honor Society for Nursing.
Watts also took time to recognize the many individuals — parents, spouses, partners, children, and friends — who had helped and supported the students as their pursued their degrees. The tables momentarily turned as the graduates offered an ovation for their loved ones.
With the big moment finally at hand, faculty member Pam Walker read aloud affirmations written or selected by the graduates themselves as one by one Watts awarded them their long-awaited nurse’s pins. A few affirmations:
“Treat a disease, you win, you lose. Treat a person and I guarantee you, you win no matter what the outcome.” — Jason Johnson (from the movie, Patch Adams)
“To do what nobody else will do in a way that nobody else can, in spite of all we go through… that is a nurse.” — Serrita Roper
“Today I accomplish a lifelong goal, but it would not have been possible without the love and support of my family and friends. Most importantly, my husband and children, who never let me give up, made me laugh when I cried, and always had positive thoughts, even in my most negative moments.” — Tanya Marie Burnham
As the ceremony concluded, the lights in the auditorium were dimmed as the new RNs lit their candles and recited the International Council of Nurses’ Pledge: “In the full knowledge of the task I am undertaking, I promise to take care of the sick with all the skill and understanding I possess, without regard to race, creed, color, politics, or social status, sparing no effort to conserve life, to alleviate suffering, and promote health. I will respect at all times the dignity and religious beliefs of the patients entrusted in my care, holding in confidence all personal information entrusted to me and refraining from any action which might endanger life or health. I will endeavor to keep my professional knowledge and skill at the highest level and give loyal support and cooperation to all members of the health team.”
In the past 10 years, Goodwin has graduated more than 1,500 nurses from its competitive, merit-based program. To learn more about the program and to hear from some of its graduates, click here.
Go to the Goodwin flickr page for photo of the ceremony.