Tonight I was blessed that I was able to attend a pinning ceremony for Medtech nursing school graduates. A friend who I respect greatly had finished her course work and with her colleagues were being honored. The ceremony goes back to the 1800s where a new nurse will receive a badge welcoming him or her into the community of nursing. The auditorium at a local high school was filled with happy friends, families and colleagues who came to honor the graduates. Graduates that will soon be embarking on a career of caring. As I watched the people cross the stage I could see the pride in their family and friends. Some had parents, but many has also spouses, children, siblings and others. Through the whole ceremony it was not uncommon to hear hoots, applause, names called, and literal screams. The people who were there had so much pride in their new nurse. I didn't know the stories of the people involved but I gleaned that for some it seemed they overcame great odds. For others it may have been the first professional in the family. Even others, it seemed like it was a chance to start over, to follow a dream. We all knew this was an accomplishment, one that required sacrificing family and friend time and some comforts. But even more astounding to me was the real sense of community that the faculty shared with this diverse group of graduate nurses. Faculty and administrators called names of students to receive pins and seemed to get choked up. Hugs, tears and inside jokes were common throughout the event and in the end some 50 people will join the front line in providing care to the sick, the injured and the elderly. They seemed to already have a community of colleagues to help smooth what is for sure a difficult profession.
As an outsider I am sure I only saw through the proverbial knot hole in the fence. But I am happy I caught the glimpses I did. Congratulations to all the graduates, and to my friend Lisa, who will always have my admiration.