College of Nursing welcomes new undergraduate students with pinning ceremony

The golden lamp pin given to students during the ceremony represents the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightengale, and signifies service and light. (Photos by Rhett Butler)

The East Carolina University College of Nursing celebrated nearly 300 new baccalaureate students on Sept. 2, welcoming each with a golden Lamp of Learning pin to wear on their uniforms.

The lamp symbol, harkening back to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, represents service and light. The symbol also appears as part of the College of Nursing pin that students are eligible to receive upon graduating.

“Service is a very important in our profession,” said Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing. “Even now, as we face this pandemic, we’re seeing the service that our profession is providing worldwide to help end the pandemic.

“We hope that you’ll find this a meaningful symbol. When you’re in the dark at 5:30 or 6 in the morning trying to get that uniform and put your pin on, just think about that important service that you’re providing for patients and families every day, and what you’ll do when you graduate from our program.”

This semester’s Lamp of Learning Ceremony was held at the East Carolina Heart Institute Auditorium with an audience of family and friends attending virtually. The biannual event marks the official beginning of the students’ journey to becoming a nurse.

Brown joined College of Nursing faculty and students in reciting the college’s pledge, which emphasizes respecting patient confidentiality, collaborating with other health professionals, advancing the profession and advocating for patients.

Admission to the College of Nursing’s BSN program is very competitive. In addition to meeting the university and college requirements, student scores on a required national pre-admission exam are considered along with GPA, enrollment status and other factors. The 272 new students admitted into the program this fall had an average GPA of 3.75.

What does receiving the Lamp of Learning pin mean to you?

Luis Martinez Sanchez

“The Lamp of Learning ceremony and receiving the golden lamp pin signifies a first step into my career as a nurse, a symbol of all of the hard work and dedication that it took to get to this moment, and it signifies the little things that make a difference, as nurses can make a significant difference in people’s lives with the little moments they spend helping them.”

Teresa Hupp

“The Lamp of Learning ceremony signifies my carrying on the torch of nursing, which is very symbolic to my family, as I will be a third-generation nurse in my family following in my mother and grandmother’s footsteps. It also unifies me and the rest of my cohort as a unit that is working together to progress a profession deeply rooted in servant leadership. This pin represents the ignition of my dedication to education, leadership and service as a Pirate Nurse.”

Donghyeon Roh

“I have been interested in becoming a nurse for many years. I had many role models that are nurses in both the United States and South Korea. I felt that the nursing profession allows me the opportunity to take care of those who need attention the most. The Lamp of Learning ceremony signifies to me that this is the first step on my long path to becoming the best nurse that I can. I look forward to the challenges ahead and I want to become a valuable team member in the health profession.”

Alexia Woodward

“Receiving the golden lamp pin signifies the start of my journey into nursing and my pledge to uphold the values of nursing. It is a commitment to serve with compassion that my peers and I have made. I will become the first nurse in my entire family, so it truly means a lot for me to take this step and pursue nursing.”

James Orefice

“To me, receiving the golden lamp pin is an honor that signifies years of hard work and believing in myself. It means taking an oath of trust and commitment to the nursing profession and standing by the core characteristics of love, mercy and understanding.”

Savannah Blalock

“The Lamp of Learning ceremony signifies the beginning of a life-long journey of becoming and being a nurse. It marks an official beginning to nursing school — something equally as terrifying as it is exciting, that allows you to have a real impact on the lives of so many people. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

New baccalaureate nursing students recite the Nurse’s Pledge during the Lamp of Learning Ceremony on Sept. 2 at the East Carolina Heart Institute. The pledge emphasizes respecting patient confidentiality, collaborating with other health professionals, advancing the profession and advocating for patients.