As the fall semester comes to a close The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana is proud to honor graduating students from the Texarkana Campus Licensed Practical Nursing Program that will be a very special ceremony that has been performed for centuries.

The traditional nurse pinning ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 14, at 6 PM  in the Hempstead Hall Theater on the Hope Campus.

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Ridofranz
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This ceremony is a tradition in nursing school and is more memorable to these soon-to-be nurses than the actual graduation ceremony. The pinning ceremony is welcoming into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses and dates back to the 12th century with the Crusades.

According to the press release,

During this time, the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist tended to injured and infirm Crusaders. When new monks were initiated into the order, they vowed to serve these sick soldiers in a ceremony where each monk was given a Maltese cross, the first badges given to those who nurse.

Florence Nightingale
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But in the 1860s it was Florence Nightingale who added another touch to the ceremony. She was awarded the Red Cross of St. George for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. Later when she was teaching she started to present a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. And by 1916 this custom turned into the pinning new graduates we know today.

Did you know that nursing pins are all unique?

The UAHT pinning was designed, in 1966, by Hazel Underwood, the first program director and instructor of the Practical Nursing Program. The cross on the UAHT pin traces back to the Knights who cared for the Crusaders. The state of Arkansas represents our home, and the circle is representative of the life cycle from birth to death and birth anew.

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UAHT
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You can see one of these special ceremonies from UAHT as the public is invited to attend. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a nurse you can find out more about the great nursing programs offered at UAHT at uaht.edu

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