RN to BSN Pinning Ceremony Honors Inaugural Graduating Class
Neither torrential rain nor the COVID-19 pandemic could dampen the spirits of the inaugural RN to BSN Program graduating class from William Peace University. Graduates and members of their families arrived at WPU on Thursday, August 6, 2020 eager to celebrate their achievements for the scheduled pinning ceremony. The School of Professional Studies leadership and support team quickly responded to the weather challenge with a drive-through approach where they could individually congratulate each graduate and present them with their pin, diploma and a gift basket.
“I am so proud of our first graduating class,” said Kobie Leiper, Ph.D., RN, CNE, Assistant Professor and RN to BSN Program Director. “This class will set the example for many more to come. I believe this program has equipped them with knowledge and tools that they can use to propel themselves forward in the profession of nursing. I wish the students all of the best for the future!”
Cheering on the caravan of graduates was Dr. Ralph, President of WPU. “It’s a great day to celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates.They are not only on the frontlines as healthcare workers during this pandemic and supporting our communities, but they have been working hard to complete their degree. It is a proud moment for WPU.”
The graduating class consisted of six students who hailed from a variety of hospital institutions:
- Ashley Daniels, Well Care Health
- Lisa “Becky” Ezell, WakeMed
- Ashley Forehand, WakeMed
- Caroline Garnes, UNC Rex Healthcare
- Nanette Merritt, UNC REX Healthcare
- Jason Wilson, WakeMed
The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition that is rich in symbolism. It signifies the official initiation into the society of nurses, and it honors and celebrates the achievements of nursing students.The ceremony is not just for graduates and their families, it is a significant opportunity for faculty and instructors to relish in the success of their students.
The history of this ceremony can be traced back to the Crusades of the 12th century when the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist nursed the injured and ailing Crusaders. As new monks were initiated into the order, their vows included service to the sick soldiers. Each monk was given a Maltese cross, symbolizing the first badge given to those who nurse.
The modern day ceremony dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale received the Red Cross of St. George from Queen Victoria in honor of her tireless and dedicated service during the Crimean War. As a way of sharing this honor, Nightingale presented a medal of excellence to her most accomplished graduates. This practice, known as the pinning ceremony, became standard throughout the U.S. in the early 1900s.
RN to BSN Graduate Stories
The Accelerated + Flexible RN to BSN Program
Just over two years ago, WPU launched the accelerated RN to BSN program and, at the time, it was the only Triangle institution to offer this unique degree opportunity. The program has partnership agreements with several major healthcare centers in the area: WakeMed Health and Hospitals, UNC Rex Healthcare and UNC Physicians Network. Additionally, the accelerated format with hybrid delivery of both online and in-person instruction has set the program as a viable option for working professionals.
Most recently, the program announced reduced tuition rates for all nursing courses. Beginning in the Fall of 2020, a savings of almost $4,000 will benefit students pursuing their BSN. Some of the advantages of the WPU program include:
- High-touch approach
- One-on-one advising and coaching
- Flexible online and hybrid delivery methods
- Earn your degree in 12-months with six start dates
- Up to 90 transferable credits with no expiration date on previous credit earned
If you would like to learn more about the RN to BSN program, we offer several virtual information sessions. Learn more at peace.edu/gornbsn.