FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (July 20, 2020) — MassBay Community College’s 2020 Practical Nursing Certificate program pinning ceremony was held June 25, 2020 on a virtual platform for the program’s 15 nursing students. This was the first time in the College’s history that a nursing pinning ceremony has been held remotely for the health and safety of our community due to the on-going coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“A face-to-face pinning ceremony could not occur this year, but that did not deter us from commemorating this important milestone in the lives of our students,” said MassBay Practical Nursing Professor, Debbie Lovewell. “The students decided that a virtual ceremony was better than no ceremony at all and that the online format would allow family and friends, near and far, to be a part of this special event. The virtual pinning ceremony was a first for us, but proved to be a transformative experience for all who attended. It was filled with smiles, laughter, tears of appreciation, palpable love, and gratitude that reached across time zones and melted away distance between loved ones.”
The faculty and students prepared virtually by rehearsing the ceremony including how to display the ceremonial candles and how each student would receive their nursing pin. A typical MassBay nursing pinning has students walking through the auditorium aisles with candles and being pinned by their faculty members. For this ceremony, however, the group of students decided that they would sit before their live video cameras while holding their candles and they would receive their pins from their family and friends who had joined them for the remote ceremony. Although different from year’s past, this part of the ceremony still invoked an emotional and meaningful moment for the nursing students.
“On the evening of the ceremony, sitting behind the 15 nursing students, were loved ones—sitting, standing, dancing, and waving with excitement on the monitors—honoring their accomplishments. One small toddler proudly wore her graduating father’s nursing cap. Family and friends watched the ceremony online from eight countries and six states—Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Philippines, United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, USA, New York, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Maine, and Massachusetts,” added Professor Lovewell.
Opening remarks and congratulatory messages to the nursing students were made by MassBay Provost, Dr. Lynn Hunter; Health Sciences Dean, Dr. Lynne Davis; Director of Nursing, Jean Dyer; Department Chair, Jose Silva; and Assistant Professors, Carol Kronopolus and Deborah Lovewell. The graduates elected their classmate, El Jan Daulo, as their student graduation speaker. El Jan delivered a motivational message filled with memories of shared experiences and encouragement for each graduate.
Branding themselves as the Pandemic Class of 2020, El Jan spoke of beginning the Practical Nursing program with his classmates as friends, but leaving MassBay as a family. This speech includes words about what being a nurse truly means, as well as the impact a nurse can make by just being present and caring towards others, especially during these trying times. El Jan told a story from his clinical experience, reminding everyone that by offering empathy and compassion, nurses have the power to help alleviate both physical and emotional pain. His demeanor reflected both humility and pride in his accomplishments, as well as those of his fellow graduates, the faculty, and the administrators of the nursing program.
Following El Jan’s speech, graduates had the opportunity to speak words of gratitude to each of their classmates and loved ones with smiles, tears, and cheers, then passed the candle, virtually, to the next graduate to share their own words of gratitude. The video platform allowed graduates a personal and intimate ceremony, while sharing and celebrating the conclusion of their program.
MassBay faculty and administrators of the Practical Nursing program wish the graduates good luck and success as they pursue their nursing careers. MassBay has been educating Practical Nursing students since 1987.
To learn more about MassBay visit www.massbay.edu
MassBay Community College is ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for two-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England, and #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded lifelong learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.