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Nightingale Ceremony: An Affirmation of Nursing

Continuing the tradition

The tradition continued this fall at the College of Nursing. The fourth bi-annual Nightingale Ceremony, held Sept. 4, inducted 191 incoming students into the profession of nursing.

Since Nightingale was known as the “Lady of the Lamp,” nurses dressed in period costumes from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries as they passed a lamp and their tradition from one generation to the next, finally passing it to a representative of the incoming class. Each student received a copy of Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing and recited a pledge written by a group of second-year students (who will receive their copies of the book at commencement). Nightingale Ceremonies are held each fall and spring.

“Nursing is so much more than a job these days—it’s a way to live; something to be celebrated,” says CUSNA President Kelsi Hertzler, who helped write the pledge. “This is a tradition that we deserve. Just like a white coat ceremony, it’s a way to honor what we do.”

Nursing Student Pledge

I pledge in the presence of this assembly to honorably practice my profession of nursing.

I pledge to be the best nurse I can be by applying evidence based practice, engaging in life-long learning, collaborating with colleagues and educating those in my care. I will do these things remembering quality patient care is my main priority.

I pledge to communicate effectively with my patients and colleagues, and to promote teamwork in order to provide optimal care.

I pledge to always remember my patients are not just patients; they are people, just like me.

I pledge to be an advocate for my patients in the most tumultuous times of their lives. I will practice patient and family-centered care and I will make time to listen to my patient’s fears and stories.

I pledge to practice with integrity. I realize that nursing is not simply a discipline; it is an art, a science, and a way of life. Caring is at the center of my being and I will exude it in all interactions.

I pledge to do all of these things remembering I make a difference in the lives of my patients each day.