Nursing Students Welcomed Into the Profession With Virtual Pinning Ceremony

May 25, 2021
By: Guest Contributor


Graduating nursing students were welcomed into the nursing profession at the annual Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, held virtually via a video released on Wednesday, May 12. Nursing faculty and University leaders offered congratulations to the graduates, who noted their accomplishments came during a particularly difficult period of time.

“You will all be well served by the resilience and strength you have gained during the past year, during the COVID period, by completing your studies in the midst of sickness, loss of life, lockdowns, surveillance testing, a national economic crisis, and political turmoil. I have not doubt that all of you will be successful in carrying these lessons learned forward to strengthen your workplace, your communities, and your own personal life,” said President Barry M. Maloney.

Maloney noted he talked about the pandemic with his aunt Maureen, a long-time nurse at the Shriner’s Hospital in Springfield who passed away in March. She reminded him that the impact on the nursing profession will be significant.

“What powered you through this pandemic can also be draining. Your chosen profession indicates that you put caring for others first. So please, I implore you, as my aunt Maureen would say if she were here, take care of yourself first. You may not feel it’s important, but in reality, nothing is more important,” he said, adding, “Take care of yourself, and then take care of the world.”

“As registered nurses, you will have many challenges ahead. I’m certain you can rise to these challenges,” said Chair and Associate Professor Paula Bylaska-Davies, Ph.D. “Wherever you go and wherever you land, we’re very proud of you.”

Student awards were also noted: Gladys Urzua received the Clinical Excellence in the Art and Science of Nursing Award; Emily Finnegan received the Florence Nightingale Award; and Adesina Adegok received the Nurse of the Future Award. The Student Nursing Association Leadership Award was given to Stephen Healy.

To view the entire presentation, visit


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