65 senior nursing students to receive pins at ceremony April 22


Flickr\Saint Anselm College

Class of 2016 nursing majors Abby Wintersteen, Meagan Halligan, Ashley Bradley, Alex Bamford, and Jessica Gipson pose in front of Alumni Hall after pinning ceremony.

Juliann Guerra, Crier Staff

The campus community is invited to witness senior nursing majors, wearing traditional nursing gowns and white caps, receive their nursing pins on Saturday, April 22. The ceremony is held in the Abbey Church and will be followed by Mass.

“Pinning is an annual ceremony planned by the senior nursing majors and some nursing faculty members,” says Courtney Puccio, one of co-chairs of the planning committee and senior nursing major.

The ceremony has been held at Saint Anselm College since 1860 and celebrates all of the hard work every nursing major has put in over the last four years to become prepared, compassionate caregivers.

Students will be recognized with the Dr. Joanne K. Farley Award and the Student Nurse Leader Award. The Dr. Joanne K. Farley Award was created to honor Dr. Joanne K Farley, a 31-year member of the Saint Anselm College community who represented the nursing spirit of caring, leadership, and selfless service. The Student Nurse Leader Award in memory of Dr. Joyce Clifford was created to recognize a student who embodies the qualities of Dr. Joyce Clifford, who was a compassionate, dedicated, visionary leader in the nursing profession. Dr. Clifford was a trustee of the College and one of the first graduates of the nursing program.

The student nurses will take the Nightingale Pledge, an oath to honor and respect their patients and profession, and senior Sara Peppler will be the student speaker.

Courtney Puccio and her co-chair Maggie Walker have been very busy over the past couple of weeks to plan the event.

“Maggie and I serve as the co-chairs of a planning committee, which consists of eight subcommittees, including Mass ceremonies, fundraising, and reception.  There are about 30 nursing majors serving on this committee,” says Puccio.

She explains, “We are responsible to ensure that all necessary planning tasks are carried out and have been responsible for surveying the class about their preferences for the details of the ceremony; this includes preferred mass celebrant, food served at the reception, which faculty members they would like involved in the ceremony, and type of flowers given out.  Maggie and I have also served as the liaison between the subcommittees and our faculty advisor, Professor Karen Grafton, who has been fantastic!”

The pin itself includes design elements from the seal of the college and also a lamp to symbolize Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp of my steps and a light for my path.”

The Latin phrase “Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini,” which translates to “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” can also be found on the pin. These phrases are messages that the educators of Saint Anselm College hope all graduated nursing majors will keep with them as they practice their profession.

Senior nursing major Amanda Richards says, “To me, pinning is so special, because we are brought back to the same church where our hands were first blessed before we started our clinical rotations.  When I went to pinning as a freshman nursing major, before starting clinical, I listened to one student talk about being present and holding a patients hand when they were having a really hard time. It’s the personal moments of caring and being present for our patients that make Saint Anselm nurses great.”

Richards plans to work at Dartmouth Hitchcock after graduation, where she completed her preceptorship.