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Health Sciences

My Pinning Ceremony

September 26, 2019

Earlier this month, the Nursing Department celebrated our most recent graduates at the 2019 Pinning Ceremony.

Nursing instructor and chair of the Pinning Ceremony Committee, Bernie Mandrick, reflects back on her memories of her own Pinning Ceremony:

When did you graduate from nursing and from which program?

I graduated from the Baccalaureate program at the University of Manitoba in 1986 (If you are doing the math that was 33 years ago yikes!)

What did receiving your pin mean to you?

Receiving my pin meant the culmination of a lot of hard work and the celebration of the friendships and learning our class did.

What parts of the Pinning Ceremony do you best remember?

I remember being so excited to see my peers. We had been separated by our choices of Senior Practice sites and catching up with them before the start of the ceremony was fabulous. We wore blue graduation robes. I wore dove grey shoes (my favorite shoes of all time!) and carried 4 roses (one for each year of the program) in the processional. I also remember that we had organized a graduate’s choir and we sang a song as part of the ceremony. I clearly recall the pride I had when Dr. Larsen the Dean of Nursing pinned the pin to my gown. Sharing that moment with my family was profound and I truly felt I had made it!

Do you feel you own Pinning has an impact on your involvement with our program’s Pinning Ceremony. How?

I loved the tradition behind the Pinning Ceremony; it was intimate and so focused on the graduates as the nurse. I felt it was my “rite of passage”. Pinning is much more specific to nursing. It is a smaller celebration (I’m talking number of graduates here) than convocation and every person on the stage knew our names and had a relationship with us. I felt the support and pride our faculty had in us. My Pinning Ceremony was important to me; the memories remain with me (even 33 years later) and I want those same memories for my students. It was a natural fit for me to be involved in planning the Pinning Ceremony for the BN graduates from Red River.

Any words of wisdom that you would like future nurses to know about nursing traditions such as the Pinning Ceremony?

You might have just begun your nursing journey in the BN program and maybe it feels like a daunting task right now; however, it will come to an end. Pinning is a time to celebrate the conclusion of this stage of your nursing journey. At Pinning you can reconnect with your cohort before you all begin working shifts, weekends, holidays etc… Pinning is also a celebration for those who have supported you. It is a time for family and friends to show you their pride. It is an opportunity for your support people to meet your instructors (some of whom you spent more time with than your family during the program!). Pins represent your school of nursing and symbols on the Red River College Pin were thoughtfully chosen and designed by previous graduates who had similar experiences to yours in the BN program here. Receiving your pin is your official welcome into the profession. Your faculty is always thrilled to share this day with you. If you want to know more about the RRC pin or the traditions of the RRC Pinning Ceremony, don’t hesitate to email me!

Post written by Bernie Mandrick – Nursing Instructor / Chair – Pinning Ceremony Committee
Questions created by Corrina Zacharkiw – Nursing Instructor