Members of Chaminade’s School of Nursing and Health Professions gathered virtually earlier this month to celebrate the time-honored Nursing Pinning Ceremony together, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another—our nursing graduates’ careers as healthcare professionals serving our communities.
A total of 59 Nursing students were pinned May 7.
Dr. Rhoberta Haley, dean of the School of Nursing of Health Professions, offered her hearty congratulations to the graduating seniors and thanked them for their hard work, sacrifice and resilience.
“I believe that Nursing is a calling—and the nurses who have served on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic for more than a year have illustrated that point,” Haley said. “I am so incredibly proud of our Nursing students, they have experienced many challenges because of the pandemic and have overcome them all to get to graduation day.”
The Pinning Ceremony was an opportunity for family members, friends and mentors to recognize the significant achievements of each Nursing graduate. The ceremony has a history in the Nursing profession dating back centuries and symbolizes each student’s initiation into the global fellowship of nurses.
“In addition to congratulating each member of our Class of 2021 Nursing students, I would like to personally thank you all for your pledge to serve in this noblest of professions,” said Dr. Lynn Babington, Chaminade president, who is also a former nurse and healthcare administrator.
“As someone who served in healthcare for many years, I can tell you that there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you have made a significant positive difference in the lives of your patients and their families. I wish all of our graduating seniors the greatest success in their future endeavors.”
Participants in the Pinning Ceremony said they were honored to mark the end of their academic journeys and the start of their Nursing careers with peers, professors, family members and friends.
“This Pinning Ceremony means a lot to me for all the long years of education I have done and to make my family proud, especially my Dad, who is definitely looking down at me from up above,” said graduate Oscar Tomas, adding that the experience feels “surreal” after so many long days and nights of studying.
“It’s an honor to reflect on all that I’ve learned and all who I’ve met on this special journey as I go forth in my career,” he said. “And I look forward to making a big difference in the lives of many while exemplifying Chaminade University’s Marianist characteristics and Native Hawaiian values.”
Graduate Kimberly Aguada said the Pinning Ceremony felt like the culmination of all her hard work.
“Being able to share this moment with my loved ones feels like a way I can give back to them for sacrificing time with me, for being patient with me and for being understanding of the strenuous process we have been under since day one of Nursing school,” she said. “I cannot wait to spread my wings!”
Aguada also called it “humbling” to be entering a profession whose critical role in society has been highlighted again and again during the COVID-19 pandemic. “You realize how important yet dangerous healthcare can be,” Aguada said. “I look forward to working with the many healthcare heroes who have been the champions of this pandemic and I hope to be half the nurse they are. Knowing that I can change someone’s life in a positive way just by doing my job, it just blows my mind.”
Errlyn-Jan Sejalbo called the gathering moving and symbolic.
“To think that I will be going into the real world is super surreal and exciting for me!”
Sejalbo said she was especially honored to be able to choose a loved one to affix the pin for the ceremony. “It is like a stamp of accomplishment from the person who has supported us the most,” she said. “In my case, it was my mom. She has been my biggest supporter throughout this journey.”
Sejalbo added the pandemic made her final year in school even more difficult. But she said it also opened her eyes to the incredible sacrifice nurses make each and every day. “It really challenged me to focus on the bigger picture of being that ‘hero’ to those around me,” she said.
Jasmine Joy Pineda joked that a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the Pinning Ceremony.
“Mostly tears,” she added.
“The Pinning Ceremony signifies the end of one of the hardest things I ever went through,” she said. “Simultaneously time flew yet the end couldn’t have come any faster. I have carried the identity of being a student for almost my entire life and to have this chapter come to a close is bittersweet.”
Pineda added that it has always been her dream to become a nurse and the pandemic doubled her resolve to serve in a profession that helps people every day—and when they need it the most. “In light of the pandemic, anxieties have increased for everyone,” she said, “but it is so reassuring to be reminded that the profession of being a nurse never fails to be gratifying and respected.”