Nursing Pinning Ceremony

The Nursing Pinning Ceremony is a special ceremony given for the graduating nursing students, family, and friends. It is held at 4 pm in the HCC Auditorium on the Hopkinsville campus prior to the 7 pm college-wide Commencement at the James E. Bruce Convention Center.

The Pinning Ceremony is designed to be ceremonial, formal, and traditional. The event provides for an opportunity to pay homage to the highly respected field of nursing and the special kind of graduate it takes to fill the shoes of a nurse. Students receiving pins will become part of history - both of the legacy of these highly respected nursing programs and of the tradition of the nursing pin, a 1,000 year-old symbol of service to others.

A nursing pin is a type of badge, usually made of metal such as gold or silver which is worn by nurses to identify the nursing school from which they graduated. The nursing pin is traditionally presented to the newly graduated nurse by the faculty at a pinning ceremony as a symbolic welcome into the profession. Although some of the traditions of nursing have been eliminated in this modern age, the nursing pin has survived. The nursing pin dates back to the Crusades in Europe when many knights became nurses and joined military nursing orders that treated the sick and wounded. The knights wore black tunics over their armor, carried no weapons and wore white Maltese crosses around their necks.

The nurse badge, another precursor to the pin, has its roots in 1855 when Queen Victoria presented Florence Nightingale with the cross of St. George in appreciation for her work caring for the British soldiers.

Symbolizing work well done, the nursing pins awarded on completion of these nursing programs each have a unique design. The Practical Nursing pin is circular and bears the emblem of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) logo. Surrounding the logo are the words Hopkinsville Community College Practical Nursing.

The Associate Degree Nursing pin is oval-shaped. In the center of the pin is the legendary herald's wand of the Greek god Hermes. It is a universal symbol of harmony and balance. Beneath the wand are found the letters RN. Surrounding the symbol can be found the words Hopkinsville Community College and KCTCS.

The pins that the graduates receive are proud symbols and traditions shared by Hopkinsville Community College Nursing Program alumni and nurses across the country. Many nurses wear the pins on their uniforms throughout their careers.