The Art of Healing: Averett Nursing Pinning Ceremony 2017

Posted on May 5th, 2017 by Cassie Jones

nurse [nurs] noun  1 a person trained to care for the sick or infirm

Though the definition of a nurse is straightforward, the art of nursing is far more complex. Some describe it as a calling; others say it takes a special kind of person to care for the sick and dying. At Averett University, it’s considered God’s work, which is why 17 graduating nurses were pinned and their hands blessed as they move into their next chapter in health care.

The Averett School of Nursing held its Class of 2017 Pinning Ceremony the morning of May 5 at the Violet T. Frith Fine Arts Center, honoring and celebrating those who have successfully completed their Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The ceremony stems from centuries of tradition, and includes many significant symbols, from nursing caps and pins, to lamps and anointed oil.

“When we have the opportunity to celebrate, we need to make the most of it,” said Dr. Pamela Giles, dean of the School of Nursing at Averett.

What Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks described as “a badge of courage,” the nursing pin the graduates were presented in today’s ceremony denotes the nursing school from which one has graduated, and the ceremony welcomes new nurses into the profession. In addition, the nursing cap worn by each graduate – except the one male in this graduating class – has been part of the female nurse’s uniform since the early history of nursing, representing a hygienic and professional look. Today, it serves as a universal symbol of nursing care and kindness.

“This ceremony is a rite of passage,” said Franks. “You are a part of the Averett legacy in the health care profession.”

Hearing of the story told of Jesus Christ’s hands, each nurse was blessed with anointing oil by University Chaplain Skyler Daniel. As the story goes, there stood a beautiful statue of Jesus Christ with His hands outstretched at a church in Germany. During the heavy bombing of WWII, the hands of Christ were broken off.  Instead of refashioning the sculpted hands, the church decided instead to place a plaque along the bottom of the statue that read, “Christ has no hands but yours.”

“You are called to be the hands of Christ, sharing the forgiveness, love and grace He has in store for a hurting world. Your lives a modern-day example of Jesus Christ,” said nursing professor, Mary Lou Dunn.

Fifteen students completed the traditional BSN track, with today marking the completion of their nursing education and beginning of their new role in the health care world. In addition, two graduates from the University’s Graduate and Professional Studies’ RN to BSN track who will expand their nursing careers were honored in the reverent ceremony.

The event was joyful and meaningful for the graduates and their loved ones in attendance, all beaming with pride.

“Today’s ceremony was everything to me,” said TaWanda Glenn, graduating senior. “Every sacrifice I had to make was worth it. This has been a long journey and I’ve had many trials and tribulations…so to have my friends and family there and having very supportive professors made everything okay.

“Finally graduating is a dream turned into a reality. I’m grateful for Averett’s staff and look forward to continuing on my journey.”