The East Carolina University College of Nursing introduced first-year nursing students to the profession at its spring Lamp of Learning ceremony on March 6.
Each student received a pin that symbolizes their commitment to nursing to wear throughout their undergraduate career. The ceremony derives its name from the pins, which are shaped like a lamp of learning and meant to remind students that they are lifelong learners who take responsibility for themselves and their patients.
The lamp also is one of the primary icons illustrated on the ECU nursing pin, which each student receives upon graduation. Dean Sylvia Brown described the meaning behind ECU’s nursing pin. Created by the college’s first graduating class in 1964, she said the shield-shaped pin represents the values the college holds dear: love, compassion, understanding and knowledge.
“I hope that all of you will think of those characteristics as you’re studying in our program and once you go out into practice,” Brown told the students, “and that you’ll be proud to be an ECU pirate nurse.”
The Lamp of Learning ceremony included a welcome from nursing faculty members and the president-elect of the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing. Attendees also learned about the college’s Student Emergency Needs Fund. The fund is made possible through a monetary gift that Brown makes in the name of each first-year student and is meant to support students facing unexpected emergency expenses. Students then took the nursing pledge and gathered with faculty to enjoy cupcakes.
“It felt like kind of an initiation to nursing school,” Rebecca Moye, a first-year student from Goldsboro, said about the event. “It’s reassuring to hear them say how big a deal it is and what an honor it is to be in nursing school, especially at ECU.”