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King University Honors Nursing Students During Pinning Ceremonies

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 29, 2016 – King University nursing students and faculty gathered together for the School of Nursing’s traditional Nurses Pinning ceremonies on Tuesday, April 26 at West Park Baptist Church near King’s Hardin Valley campus in Knoxville and on Thursday, April 28 at First Presbyterian Church adjacent to the University’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.

MSN graduates were in attendance along with the traditional BSN and RN-BSN students at both ceremonies.

“We always look forward to celebrating an evening with the nursing graduates from our Nursing programs,” said Cecelia Lynn Holden, DNP, MEd, MSN, RN, CEN, dean and associate professor for King University’s School of Nursing. “Graduates for our traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as RN-BSN and MSN programs all joined with the faculty at ceremonies to celebrate an evening of fond educational memories and student achievement. The ceremony includes the history of the nursing pin, the significance of King University's School of Nursing pin, a blessing of the graduate's hands for service unto Christ, an inspirational Christian speaker, and the lighting of the Florence Nightingale lamps. The graduates are encouraged to seek out those in need, whether it be a physical or spiritual need within their work and communities and then they are challenged to provide compassionate care as emulated through Christ's life of service.”

Family and friends celebrated alongside the students as those graduating with their degree in Nursing were presented with a special pin from King’s School of Nursing faculty as they were welcomed into the nursing profession.

The pinning ceremony is a time when all School of Nursing graduates come together with their families and friends to celebrate the student’s success. The historically significant pinning ceremony is likened to the pinnacle for nurses and, for many; it is more memorable than graduation. One of King’s traditions for the ceremony has included a blessing of the hands and lighting of the Florence Nightingale lamps. This year, the MSN students have been invited to participate in a hooding ceremony along with being pinned by a King University faculty member.

Each school’s nursing program bestows a pin distinctive to their own school. King University’s School of Nursing pin, like the distinguished 13th century coat of arms, signifies pride in individual achievement. The nursing students in the first graduating class designed King’s School of Nursing pin. “The pin engenders in students a deep-seated responsibility and devotion to Christ and his people for whom we have been entrusted to care for with compassion and love,” added Holden.

The pinning is associated with Florence Nightingale, who, in the 1860’s, was honored with the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless efforts to injured men during the Crimean War. Because she believed in acknowledging a job well done, she presented a medal of excellence to her hardest working nursing graduates. By 1916, it became standard in the United States to award all nursing graduates with a pin during a special ceremony.


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.