New nursing students take next step

The ECU College of Nursing welcomed two new groups of future nurses during a ceremony at the Brody School of Medicine on Jan. 24.

Parents beamed while their daughters and sons crossed the stage to receive a gold lamp pin, as part of the twice-annual Lamp of Learning ceremony that serves an official welcome to the college’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Accelerated BSN program.

Minorities made up 21 percent of the 149 nursing students that joined the college this semester.

The gold lamp pin symbolizes service and light, and represents the lamp carried by the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. This symbol appears on the pin that students receive upon graduating.

Jennifer Walsh receives her lamp pin from a College of Nursing faculty member while Tyler Walston awaits his own pin.

Jennifer Walsh receives her lamp pin from a College of Nursing faculty member while Tyler Walston awaits his own pin. (Photos by Jeremy Smith)

During the ceremony, Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the College of Nursing, urged students to reflect on the pin’s meaning when they wear it.

“It recognizes the importance of being in a profession that honors knowledge, scholarship, caring, passion and trust,” Brown said.

Students also recited the college’s pledge, which includes promises to respect patient confidentiality, to collaborate with other health professionals, to participate in the advancement of the profession and to advocate for patients.

Sam Robertson was among the 25 students from the accelerated program who were pinned by faculty members. Students in this program already have earned a baccalaureate degree in another field and are put on an accelerated path to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree within one year.

“It’s a big step,” Robertson said of receiving his pin. “We’ve got a lot to learn still, and a year to do it. “I’m most excited about clinicals and getting to start working with people, learning how to interact with people in the hospital and try to make their lives a little bit better.”

The ceremony served as the College of Nursing’s official welcome to 149 new students.

The ceremony served as the College of Nursing’s official welcome to 149 new students.

Admission to the College of Nursing’s BSN program is very competitive. In addition to meeting the university and college requirements, students’ scores on a required national pre-admission exam are taken into account along with their GPA, enrollment status and other factors. Students accepted into the pre-licensure program had an average GPA of 3.58.

Gene and Tracy Hodges were among the many proud parents in the audience, and were thrilled to watch their daughter Liz reach another milestone in the path toward achieving her goals.

“It’s very exciting,” said Gene, who had traveled from New Bern to watch Liz receive her pin. “She has wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl. To see her starting to realize her dreams is really special. It’s a long, hard journey to get here. You’ve got to start the process early, keeping the grades up because of the competitive nature of getting into this program. It really warms my heart and makes me feel extremely proud that she’s accomplishing her goals.”

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communications