GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay celebrated a first on Friday night.
They held a ‘pinning’ ceremony for the first-ever class to graduate from their four-year nursing program. A ‘pinning’ ceremony is a longtime tradition for nursing students where they can dedicate a pin to a loved one who supported them through their school process. The pin also is a symbol of their education and all the hard work they put into becoming a nurse.
The graduates also recite what’s called the ‘International Council of Nurses Pledge’ which affirms the common goals of nurses all around the world. It’s also called the ‘Nightingale Pledge’ named after Florence Nightingale who is considered the founder of modern nursing.
“It feels pretty cool leaving a legacy and a footprint,” said Jordan Barnes when asked how it felt to be part of the university’s first four-year nursing program class.
Barnes dedicated her pin to her mother who is also a nurse and to her father who passed away.
“She’s a nurse and she inspired me to go into nursing school as well as my dad who passed away from cancer when I was young, my mom became a nurse because of him and I became a nurse because of her,” said Barnes.
“Before they even started my message I was overwhelmed with emotion,” she continued.
Abby Rautmann is another one of the nursing student graduates honored on Friday night. She said she’s known she wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl after seeing nurses take care of her grandma when she was sick.
She dedicated her pin to her cousin.
“She is a nurse injector in downtown Milwaukee and she really inspired me to be a nurse so that’s why I chose her,” said Rautmann.
Each graduate has unique career goals.
Rautmann said she has a job at Froedtert Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee in the orthopedic trauma unit. She said she eventually wants to become an emergency room nurse. Barnes said she’s continuing to work as a student nurse for the time being, but eventually she wants to go into labor and deliver or work in the operating room.
The women graduate at a critical time in the healthcare industry.
“Everybody needs nurses, the nursing shortage is real,” said UW-Green Bay College of Health, Education, and Social Welfare dean Susan Gallagher-Lepak. “Our healthcare partners are really excited to have energetic new nurses come into the workforce.”
Gallagher-Lepak said baby boomers retiring and increased need for nurses in elder care and other areas as care has gotten more sophisticated has led to the shortage.