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Accolades & Honors

Pitt-Greensburg held its first pinning ceremony for nursing graduates

Nursing graduates in white coats holding lamps read aloud from a booklet

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg held its first pinning ceremony for nursing graduates April 26. The tradition is a significant step in the journey to becoming a University of Pittsburgh nurse.

“A pinning ceremony is a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated or soon-to-be graduated nurses into the nursing profession and signifies membership in a proud and loyal society of nurses,” explained Amy Shearer, assistant professor of nursing and director of the Pitt School of Nursing at Pitt-Greensburg.

Each of the 28 nursing graduates invited a significant person in their nursing journey to present their pin to them. Then, in a candlelit ceremony, the 2023 Keeper of the Light Elizabeth Penrose (UPG ‘23) “passed the light” on to the 2024 Keeper of the Light Hannah Lafferty, who then passed it on to her classmates. Each year, the Keeper of the Light is the nursing student with the highest academic standing in their class. Doug Prentice was selected by his classmates to be the student speaker for the event.

Dating back to Florence Nightingale, the lamp is the symbol of efforts to improve nursing practice and change healthcare delivery worldwide. The lamp represents nurses’ commitment to always move forward, seeking ways to improve outcomes and to advocate for their patients.