Local nursing students lauded in traditional pinning ceremony

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions (SNAHP) welcomed new nurses into the profession at its annual recognition and pinning ceremony Thursday (May 4) in Havens Auditorium.

Nursing graduate Maya Vandergriff welcomed the class, faculty and staff, and family and friends, noting that the pinning ceremony is a tradition created to honor Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of nursing, in the 1860s.

“For us, this ceremony signifies the completion of the nursing program at IU Kokomo, and is our official initiation into the nursing profession,” she said. “With this, we celebrate our hard work and dedication over the past four years and our accomplishments in the nursing program.”

Dean Susan Hendricks said by participating in the ceremony, “we claim our place among the tradition of graduates who have provided exceptional nursing care and leadership throughout our history.

“Nurses bring an important ethical imperative to their work wherever we serve, and we add value wherever we work,” she said.

She noted that nursing has never been an easy profession and encouraged the graduates to take time to be part of the team, remember they’ve earned their place in the profession, practice responding to bullying with honesty and grace, and to find productive ways to cope with distress.

“Whatever your pathway in the profession, your everyday actions, words, and choices will leave behind a legacy of who you are as a nurse. Know your actions will matter a great deal to those you care for every day,” she said.

Each graduate received the IU School of Nursing BSN pin, which is unique to the university, and joined in reciting the Nursing Pledge, a code of standards for the profession.

Nicole Burke looks forward to beginning her career at Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis, in the trauma neuro ICU.

“I’m very excited, and ready to be done,” she said.

Emily Leak is happy to have a job lined up on the mother and baby unit at IU Health Riley Hospital for Children after graduation. The best part of school was the relationship among their class, she said.

“I feel like I’m graduating with all my best friends. It’s been hard, but we did it,” she said.

Garrett Elder, who will be a nurse in the progressive cardiac care unit at Community Heart and Vascular in Fishers, said those friendships make it hard to leave.

“It’s bittersweet because I’ve had such a great time with my friends, and now we’re all going out into the world.”

Local graduates honored included:

• Elwood: Garrett Elder

• Summitville: Ashley Renee Honeycutt