Taking a pause to pin and pledge, then proceed Graduate Entry Pathway Pinning Ceremony a watershed for nursing students
By Sandra Gray, UMass Medical School Communications
GSN Dean Paulette Seymour-Route, PhD, pins a GEP student at the pinning ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Photo by Rob Carlin
Members of the Graduate Entry Pathway (GEP) Class of 2013 celebrated a milestone, rather than the endpoint, of their nursing studies at the seventh annual GEP Pinning on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “For our students, the academic work does not stop here,” said GEP Director Eileen Terrill, PhD, assistant professor of nursing. “Yet as the fundamental underpinning for advanced practice, we believe that it is necessary to acknowledge and celebrate the nurse’s pinning as an exciting rite of passage, marking achievement as well as transition into the nursing profession.”
The pin and the pledge A time-honored custom of nursing programs throughout the world, the pinning ceremony is a reminder of the profession’s promise to serve others. The GEP pin was designed by a student committee from the Class of 2007. Inside the shield, the column with the entwined snake symbolizes wisdom. Above the shield, the eagle’s wings symbolize protection and the star refers to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is allowed to use that symbol as one of the original colonies. The star also stands for nobility of purpose. The laurel leaves symbolize both peace and triumph. The words “education, research, service, practice” inscribed in the banners surrounding the shield refer to the mission of the Graduate School of Nursing. Like physicians, nurses pledge to serve their community and their profession. The GSN’s GEP pledge is adapted from the original pledge developed for Florence Nightingale, which was based on the Hippocratic Oath. The GEP Class of 2013 recited the pledge in unison after receiving their pins: I solemnly pledge myself in the presence of this assembly to practice my profession of nursing faithfully. I will provide care where care is needed and shape the environment in which care occurs so that the promise of caring may be fulfilled. I will center my practice on the welfare of all those in my care honoring the fullness of their humanity. I will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping. I will refrain from any action, and will not knowingly take any action, that will do harm. I will maintain and elevate the standards of my profession through reasoned inquiry and faithful scholarship, and by embodying the integrity expected of me by my peers and those I serve.