Pinning Ceremony

Pinning ceremonies have been a long-standing tradition for Ball State University graduating nurses that signifies that graduates are now full-fledged nurses (pending passage of nursing boards).

Pinning ceremonies date back 1,000 years and began as a Maltese Cross. Over the years, the pin became a coat of arms and eventually has become a design that is unique to the institution.

The pinning ceremony is a dignified celebration of achievement where each graduate receives their own Ball State University School of Nursing pin. The pin represents the diploma handed out at more traditional graduation ceremonies.

Ball State’s pinning is a candlelight ceremony. As the graduates walk in, each is holding a lighted “candle” which represents one of the most well-known nurses, Florence Nightingale. This symbolizes the “passing of the flame” from Nightingale to each nurse.

Just as physicians have the Hippocratic Oath, nurses have a modification of that oath which was composed in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and a committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses, Detroit, Michigan. It was called the “Florence Nightingale Pledge” as a token of esteem for the founder of modern nursing. Ball State University School of Nursing graduates recite a modernized version of this pledge as an essential part of their pinning ceremony.

A simple, yet elegant affair, the Ball State University School of Nursing pinning ceremony is held three times a year—in May, July, and December—and signifies the beginning of a lifelong journey for our graduates.

Join us for an upcoming pinning ceremony. Please email us for details.

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Watch Current Pinning Ceremony