Dillard Nursing Pinning Ceremony 24
Campus News, Newsletter

Nursing Pinning Ceremony: Celebrating the Next Cohort of Dillard Nurses

The annual nursing pinning ceremony, a significant milestone in the nursing profession, was a poignant and touching event for the 15 nursing graduates. This ceremony marked their transition from student to professional nurse, a role that comes with immense responsibilities. Guided by esteemed faculty and supported by their peers, these graduates have successfully completed the rigorous nursing program, preparing them for their noble and rewarding careers in healthcare.

Dean of College of Nursing Dr. Sharon Hutchinson said in her opening remarks, Ecclesiastes 3:1, ‘There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.’ Your pinning ceremony marks the end and beginning of your next season.”

The Dillard’s Pinning Ceremony, a tradition with deep historical roots, traces its origin back to the Dillard University Capping Ceremony. This ceremony, which began in 1944 with Dillard’s first cohort of baccalaureate nursing students under the leadership of Ms. Rita Miller, has evolved over the years. In 1992, under the leadership of Dr. Ethel Amos, the Capping Ceremony transitioned into the Pinning Ceremony for graduate baccalaureate nurses. This year, we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of this significant event. 

As the graduates gathered in their pristine white uniforms, the atmosphere filled with pride and accomplishment. The keynote speaker, Dr. Tavell Kindall, delivered a powerful message that resonated with the audience. “It may take some time to find your thing, but you should never be unhappy. An unhappy nurse does not deliver proper care,” said Dr. Kindall as he emphasized the importance of self-care and happiness in nursing, highlighting the connection between a nurse’s well-being and the quality of care they provide to patients.

Interim Provost Mablene Krueger commended the graduates for their hard work and dedication, acknowledging that they are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead. “You’re ready because you’ve been prepared through the oldest nursing program in Louisiana,” Provost Krueger proudly stated, instilling confidence in the graduates as they prepare to enter the healthcare workforce.

As each graduate received their nursing pin, symbolizing their commitment to the nursing profession and their duty to care for others, there was a sense of reverence and responsibility in the room. The nursing graduates were reminded of the words of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, who once said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” These words serve as a guiding principle for the graduates as they embark on their journey to make a difference in the lives of their patients.

Oyinloluwa Akande, Jada Allen, Aaliyah Gaskins, Indica Hampton, Markeyah Moore, and Katelyn Shelby, the nursing graduates, were not only celebrated for their successful completion of the program but also for their individual achievements. They were recognized as members of the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Additionally, Markeyah Moore was honored with the New Orleans District Nurses Association Student Leadership Award, a testament to her exceptional leadership skills and dedication to the nursing profession. 

Five students received the Theresa Bittenburg & John Henry Marque Fund Student Nurse Award. This award is for the top five highest grade point averages within the nursing major. Dr. Hutchinson read from a letter that stated, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, I’m pleased to send you enclosed a check in the amount of $10,854 as a grant for Dillard University, designated for the 2024 Marque Fund student nurse awardees from the School of Nursing. Please issue payments to the five 2024 student nurse awardees in the amount of $2,170 per awardee; this amount is to be used to begin your professional nursing careers.” In ascending order by nursing GPA, the following students received the award: Chantrice Thomas-Populis, Oyinloluwa Akande, Jada Allen, Katelyn Shelby, and Markeyah Moore.

With their nursing pins affixed to their uniforms, these 15 nursing graduates stand on the brink of a fulfilling and impactful career in healthcare. Their dedication, compassion, and hard work have prepared them to deliver high-quality care to those in need, and their commitment to excellence will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of countless individuals. Congratulations to the newest cohort of nurses, poised to make a meaningful and lasting impact in healthcare.