On May 5, 2023, the second annual nursing pinning ceremony took place at Ferrum College’s Vaughn Chapel. Following the invocation by Pastor Jeff Hairston and pledge of allegiance by Carl Cline, Jr., Ferrum College President Mirta Martin gave opening remarks congratulating all of the program graduates, and reflecting on their accomplishments.
“Through the interaction of our program’s faculty with our students, I have witnessed first hand the attributes of great nurses” said Martin.
Assistant Professor of Nursing John Phillips then introduced the distinguished speaker, Phyllis Whitehead, who is a Palliative Medicine/Pain Management CNS at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and is the Associate Professor for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Whitehead congratulated the seniors and shared personal stories about her experiences as a nurse. “It’s impressive that you’re coming and choosing the nursing profession because of this healthcare landscape. We need you, and this profession needs you,” said Whitehead.
After, Chair and Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Melody Sharp and Assistant Professor of Nursing Lee Brown presented the Academic Excellence in Nursing Award, which went to Jenna Lambert. During her time in the program, she exemplified excellence in an academic setting and also during clinical practice. Lambert will soon start her nursing career at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Six students were pinned by their families for completing the nursing program in good standing. After each student was pinned, Assistant Professor of Nursing Kris Peters then guided them in the blessing of the hands, which serves as an ode to nursing in the way that they use their hands in their profession. “As nurses, our hands perform many tasks, many mundane, routine, exciting and some disgusting tasks. Nursing is an art and a science. The art is in your hands, and your heart,” said Peters.
Each student was given a Nightingale Lamp and all nurses recited the Nightingale pledge with the graduates. This was to signify Florence Nightingale and the way she established the first nursing school in the world and changed nursing to be a respectful profession.
Pastor Hairston ended the ceremony with a benediction.