Nursing pins awarded to Goodwin College graduates

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Sat., Aug. 20, 2011
Nurses recite their vows during traditional candlelight ceremony. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Nurses recite their vows during traditional candlelight ceremony. Photos by Frances Taylor.

After 24 years, Marianne Petersen has realized her dream of becoming a nurse.  She said she became interested in nursing after taking care of her husband's mother. Petersen was one 50 nurses who graduated from Goodwin College on Aug. 18. During the ceremony, the new graduates received the nursing pins that they will wear on their white uniforms.

Janice  F. Costello, chair of the nursing department, gave an inspirational speech before putting a pin on each new graduate. She congratulated the students on their accomplishment of realizing their goal to become nurses.

”Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer,'' Costello said. “One morning we awaken and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to, I plan on, and someday when things are settled down a bit'."

As each name was called, an affirmation by the student was read, as the pin was received. Petersen thanked her husband, Gary, for his support. “You can start your well-deserved retirement as soon as I find a job,'' she said.

The nurse pinning ceremony is the first time a new nurse wears the complete uniform, and the pin signifies where the nursing graduate's education was received.

A highlight of the graduation ceremony is where each nurse holds a lighted candle and recites the nursing pledge.  This tradition dates back to the 1860s, the time of Florence Nightingale, who founded nursing as a profession.

Lindsey Okeson, another nursing graduate, thanked her children for not complaining when she served frozen pizza for dinner on the nights before an exam. She also thanked her husband, who had been deployed in Iraq, for his support “from half a world away.''

Lauren Kupper has been an EMT in Colchester and a certified nursing assistant for the past 20 years.  After receiving her pin, she received an armful of flowers from her family. “Its been a long time coming, and its finally here,'' Kupper said.


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