More than 100 ECU students were officially introduced to the nursing profession during the College of Nursing’s twice-annual Lamp of Learning ceremony on Aug. 31.
The ceremony, held in the Brody School of Medicine auditorium, recognized 125 new students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program as family and friends looked on.
During the ceremony Dr. Sylvia Brown, dean of the college, reminded students of the university’s dedication to service, a value shared by the college and the nursing profession. She emphasized Gallup Poll data that has consistently pointed to nursing as the most trusted profession among all professions, and urged new students to remain honest and ethical in order to preserve that trust.
“That is a wonderful characteristic that we want to maintain and instill in our nursing students,” she said.
Dr. Annette Peery, associate dean for undergraduate programs, introduced each student on stage as Brown presented him or her with a gold lamp pin representing Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The lamp symbol signifies service and light, and is also featured on the College of Nursing pin that students receive at graduation.
“As you wear that pin, think of these symbols and what they mean, particularly your orientation to service as part of the profession,” Brown said.
Krista Whitley, a nursing student from Kinston, was among those having pins affixed to their purple scrubs.
“It’s really special,” she said. “It makes me want to work even harder. Ever since high school I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. I job shadowed in high school and observed a couple of surgeries. It really pumped me up and made me want to be a nurse.”
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 program this year had an average GPA of 3.7.
Phyllis Burt attended the ceremony to watch her daughter Heavenlee Burt receive her pin.
“She worked hard for this and I love her. I am very proud of her,” Burt said. “I came a long way just to catch her in this moment. I think the world is going to be a better place.”
-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communication