BSN class president Sarah Hodge unveils the nursing photos of her classmates. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau University honors newest nursing graduates with annual pinning ceremony

May 7, 2021
Kathryne Davis
Troy Heidesch, director of the school of nursing, speaks to attendees. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

The Brenau University Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing held its annual pinning ceremony for senior undergraduate students on April 28 at the amphitheater on the Gainesville campus.

“This pinning is that bridge from being a student to becoming a colleague and a nurse,” said Troy Heidesch, director of the school of nursing. “This is that step where they’ve completed their courses to prepare them to become a nurse, and now they’re moving on to their careers.”

The ceremony honored more than 70 students in the class of 2021 who received their Bachelors of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing during Brenau’s commencement ceremonies on April 30-May 1.

Although pinning ceremonies have been held at Brenau for six decades, some changes had to be made in 2021. One family member or friend of each student was able to attend, and the ceremony was held outside with social distancing and other safety measures in place.

Heidesch said one of the most meaningful pieces to the ceremony is the Florence Nightingale Pledge, which happened at the end of the event after the students received their pins from family and friends. Nightingale is best known as the founder of modern nursing.

“The pledge is about starting in their profession and making sure that they understand the importance of their own integrity and caring for others as a professional,” Heidesch said.

Sarah Hodge, president of this year’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing cohort, spoke to her class before they received their pins.

“To my nurses, there is no doubt in my mind that every single one of you is going to be extraordinary no matter where you end up,” she said, “You not only survived a pandemic, but you managed to graduate with one of the hardest degrees imaginable. Despite all of the challenges of a virtual world, you have adapted with grace and resilience. Be proud of how far you have come and look forward to the journey ahead of you. Your opportunities are limitless.”