Anatomy of a Pinning Ceremony

January 18, 2017 - Nursing, Graduation

PTC Pinning Ceremony Family

An unexpected turnout for the January 2017 Pinning Ceremony required the last-minute addition of 75 chairs to those already set up in the Gallery to accommodate the guests who assembled to honor the School of Nursing graduates. Twenty-three nursing students would receive their pins to commemorate the completion of their Pittsburgh Technical College studies in front of an audience approaching 350.

The evening began with a welcome and introductions by Eileen Steffan, MS, Vice President of Education,  and Jackie Lever, MSN, RN, Academic Chair, School of Nursing, Pittsburgh Technical College.

PTC Pinning Ceremony Jackie Lever

“I am so impressed with our students,” exuded Lever. “These two groups of students have developed strong relationships with each other and have functioned as unique teams in all areas including the classroom and the clinical setting.

“I am personally pleased with the comments they have shared with me about the impact members of our faculty and staff have on them and their success.  That means a lot to us.”

Although he made them squirm one last time during his remarks, Joe Dominick, MSN, RN, NE-BC, and a member of the PTC School of Nursing, was selected by the associate in science, nursing students as the faculty speaker for their pinning ceremony.

He recounted their first-quarter Introduction to Nursing class which included in-depth discussions related to the scope of nursing practice, ethics, QSEN competencies, autonomy and non-malfeasance, and five-year plans.

PTC Pinning Ceremony Student Group

“Just look at them squirming,” he instructed the audience.  “They asked if they would encounter me in any other courses.  I said I was hard to get rid of. They did not believe me.”

By the time these students neared graduation they had made it through his Pharmacology class where they had written out drug cards and more drug cards. They role played polypharmacy issues and wrote papers in APA format.

They had survived his Professional Transitions into Nursing Practice class where they studied nursing’s rules and regulations and completed the clinical experience.

Now, believers, he repeated what he'd said time and time again.  “If being a nurse was easy, everyone would be a nurse,” he reminded them.

He complimented the 14 ASN students on overcoming real challenges, on maintaining a job or raising a family while successfully facing the rigors of nursing school, and for working hard.

Again addressed the audience, he said, “Many of you may not realize it, but along the way, these students worked their gluteal muscles off. For you non-nurses in the crowd, that means they worked their butts off.”

Congratulations to these January 2017 Associate in Science, Nursing graduates:

PTC Pinning Ceremony ASN Group

The Practical Nursing students asked Lorna Woodhall, MSN, RN, CEN, EMT-P, and a member of the PTC School of Nursing faculty, to serve as their pinning ceremony speaker.

At the beginning of her Foundations of Nursing course, she asks each student to handwrite the answers to six personal questions. The answers she receives helps Woodhall develop a care plan, not unlike the assessments nurses perform and the care plans they develop for patients.

She wants to understand the challenges her students face and how she can best help them succeed.

There is a common theme that runs through the responses: family, children, friends, and memories of significant others. “Care, support and motivation from loved ones are absolutely vital to student success,” Woodhall shared with members of the audience. “On their behalf, I thank you for providing this.”

She also shared that the answers to her sixth and final question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” are as individual as each student.

“They do not tell me it’s because they want to wear a really cool uniform. They do not tell me it’s because they want to marry a doctor,” she said. “These answers are individual and heartfelt and touching.”

In closing, she advised the PN graduates to remember to care, not just for their patients and patients’ families, but also for each other, as she welcomed them to the nursing profession.

Congratulations to these January 2017 Practical Nursing graduates:

PTC Pinning Ceremony PN Group

PTC Pinning Ceremony Nightingale Pledge

The evening ended with all the nursing graduates reciting the Nightingale Pledge which ends with these words: With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

And, of course, hugs from family and friends.

PTC Pinning Ceremony Family

The Pinning Ceremony was streamed live on Facebook for Family and Friends that couldn't attend.

View Album



Offering career-focused education since 1946, Pittsburgh Technical College (formerly Pittsburgh Technical Institute (PTI)) offers degree and certificate programs in more than 30 areas. Its 180-acre campus is home to the American Academy of Culinary Arts, the Energy Technology Center, the Nursing Simulation Center, and many hands-on specialty labs. PTC students can take advantage of online course offerings, on-campus residence halls, student activities, intramural programs and community service programs. PTC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Pittsburgh Technical College is your source for institutional information, access to industry experts, and interviews with faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Linda Gayle Allan
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Pittsburgh Technical College
1111 McKee Road, Oakdale PA 15071

Just let us know what you need and, if PTC is a match, we would be happy to help.

A nonprofit Institution

PTC can help launch your career with a hands-on, personal approach
and a wide range of advantages over traditional institutions.

Pittsburgh Technical College, 1111 McKee Road, Oakdale PA, 15071
(412) 809-5100

Pittsburgh Technical College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.