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NSU Celebrates New Nurses

Group photo of the NSU 2022 Nursing Pinning Ceremony candidatesNorfolk State University’s July 2022 Nursing Pinning Ceremony was held on campus in the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center Saturday, July 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. Nursing faculty, staff, as well as friends and family of the candidates were in attendance.

The Pinning Ceremony signifies that the new graduates from NSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program have joined the sisterhood and brotherhood of nurses and are ready to serve society as healthcare professionals.

Dr. Aretha Thurman, Nursing Program Director, described the importance and impact of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program during the ceremony. Watch her remarks on NSU’s YouTube Channel at

Nursing has often been referred to as a “calling” and the modern Pinning Ceremony is based on the history of this respected profession.

Dr. Rosalyn Gardiner said the ceremony “is rich with symbolism” and illustrated the point by describing the history and significance of the traditional nurse’s cap. Watch her statement at

The History of the Pinning Ceremony dates to the 12th century. The modern ceremony started in the 1860s. In 1916, the Pinning Ceremony became standard practice for new nursing graduates in the U.S. to welcome them into the nursing profession.

The keynote of the ceremony was delivered by Dr. LaWanda Judge, NSU Nursing Graduate, 2011 (ADN), 2013 (BSN). She told a powerful story of how she overcame breast cancer while completing her nursing degree at Norfolk State. Having overcome that struggle and establishing herself in the nursing profession, she went on to eventually achieve her doctorate in 2022 and offered some of that inspiration to the new nurses following in her footsteps. Watch her inspiring keynote address at

2022 NSU Nursing Pinning Candidate recite the Nightingale PledgeAfterward, each candidate came forward to receive their pin from Dr. Thurman, then recited the Nightingale Pledge, named in honor of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. U.S. nurses have recited the pledge since its inception in 1893, though modifications have occurred over the decades. It’s a public pledge to uphold strong ethical standards rooted in the tradition of nursing and caring for others. Watch the 2022 NSU BSN graduates recite the pledge at

In wrapping up the ceremony student speaker Tamekia Brown, July 2022 Nursing Pinning Candidate, talked about the high personal cost and the necessary dedication it takes to achieve the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Norfolk State University.

Beyond the challenges, however, Brown also spoke of the rigors and fun of learning nursing through her participation in the program.

For more information on Norfolk State University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, please visit