Practical Nurse Pinning Ceremony – April 2014

On Thursday April 3, 2014, students from Cohort Six of the Practical Nurse program at Dorsey Schools’ Madison Heights campus took part in their Pinning Ceremony / Commencement, celebrating the completion of their training.  The event was held at The Gazebo, located in Warren, Michigan, and was attended by the graduating students, members of their family, friends, and staff members from Dorsey Schools.

Practical Nursing Students Graduate from Dorsey Schools and Participate in Pinning Ceremony

The Pinning Ceremony began with opening remarks from Vince DeRita, Managing Director of the Madison Heights campus of Dorsey Schools, followed by a prayer led by Tomura Snider, and then the presentation of the Class Video, which reflected back on moments the students had experienced over the past year during their program at Dorsey Schools.  Tiffany Trimble, a graduate of the Practical Nurse program, also recited a poem.

Ms. Jan Kelly, BSN, RN, was the guest speaker, and in traditional Ms. Kelly fashion, she told the students one last story.  She told the story of “Two Wolves” (a Cherokee Legend).  She encouraged the graduates to “feed their good wolf” and to feed themselves intellectually by continuing to learn, feed themselves emotionally by surrounding themselves with positive people, and feed themselves spiritually and socially by finding ways to volunteer.  At the conclusion of her words, Ms. Kelly shared her pleasure to now welcome her students as her colleagues in the profession of nursing.

The Pinning of Graduates ceremony was conducted by Ms. Pariseau, Ms. Kelly, and Ms. Russell (instructors for the Practical Nursing program).  As she addressed the graduates, Ms. Pariseau said to the graduates one last time “come to the voice,” as she explained the tradition behind the nursing pin.

The Nursing Pin and the ceremonial pinning we know today, actually originated in the 1860’s at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London.  Having been recently awarded The Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service to the injured and dying in the Crimean Way, Florence chose to extend this honor to her most outstanding graduate nurses by presenting each of them with a medal for excellence. 

The Wolverton Royal Hospital in England initiated the tradition of presenting all graduates with a badge.  The first pin was presented to the graduating class of 1880 at the Bellevue Hospital of Nursing in New York City.  The pin presented to graduates was both beautiful and symbolic.  It featured a crane in the center for vigilance, encircled with a band of blue for constancy, and an outer band of red for mercy and relief of suffering.  Dr. Opas reports that by 1916 the practice of pinning new nurses was common in schools throughout the United Kingdom and North America.

Upon receiving their pin, students also received a rose and exchanged hugs with several of their beloved instructors who guided them throughout the program.

After each student received their pin, students each held a small lamp to take part in the symbolic Path of Light.  The symbol of the LAMP is referred to in the nursing community as the “Florence Nightingale Lamp.”  Students then recited the nurse pledge.

At the conclusion of the event, Mr. DeRita congratulated the men and women on their hard work throughout the program.  Patricia Fischer, CEO of Dorsey Schools, also commended the students for their efforts and congratulated these students for being accepted into the program out of 1000 applicants.  Fischer acknowledged the students for their dedication, morality, intelligence, and the willingness to work hard throughout their program.

All of us here at Dorsey Schools applaud these students for all of their hard work and wish them the very best as they transition from being a nursing student to a nurse.  Dorsey Schools would also like to acknowledge and thank the faculty and staff of the Practical Nurse program along with the additional staff members who actively contribute to the success of the Practical Nurse program.  Dorsey Schools would also like to express thanks to the following clinical sites for their participation and willingness to serve our students throughout their program:  Detroit Receiving Hospital, Vibra Hospital, St. Anthony Health Care Center, St. John Macomb, and St. John Oakland.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at