Williston State College will celebrate all nursing graduates for the 2019-2020 academic year Friday, July 17 at 10am with a drive-through pinning ceremony.
The pinning ceremony is a special tradition for nursing students, and the WSC Nursing Department. In a normal year the ceremonies would be held in the gym with family and friends in attendance, speeches, pinning by family and friends, and the lighting of the lamp and recitation of the Florence Nightingale pledge.
"This has been an unprecedented spring and summer due to the COVID-19 and this spring, we thought that by July, we would be able to host a large pinning ceremony for the nursing students," notes Gail Raasakka, Associate Professor of Nursing and Dakota Nursing Program Coordinator. "But as we continue to see cases rise nationwide, we, as nurses and future nurses, made the decision to role model social distancing and take precautions to limit the spread of COVID in our community."
23 Practical Nursing Degree (PN) and 19 Nursing Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students have been invited to the drive-through ceremony. The WSC Tioga location also has 6 PN students and they will be celebrating with their own drive-through ceremony.
The ADN Pinning Ceremony would have been held on the Thursday evening prior to graduation in May but was canceled due to COVID-19.
Students are encouraged to decorate their vehicle, much like they'd normally decorate their graduation caps. And to bring as many family members as fit in their vehicle. Nursing faculty will approach the cars with masks on and present the pins as well as a goodie bag.
"As faculty, we are all so very proud of the accomplishments of each and every student and wanted to try and do something to honor them for their accomplishment," adds Raasakka. "The pinning ceremony is the culmination of all the hard work that these students have put into realizing their dream of being a nurse and even though we can't celebrate like we normally would, we wanted these students to know that their hard work, dedication and perseverance did not go unnoticed."