In the spirit of commemorating the success of our 2020 graduates and complying with social distancing guidelines in Texas due to COVID-19, Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) offered some creative ways to celebrate nursing grads and their milestone achievement.
Providing a memorable keepsake, LHSON posted a virtual Pinning & Recognition Ceremony on YouTube. The 53-minute celebration video includes remarks from Dean Shelley F. Conroy, student award announcements, Student Class President addresses for the BSN and FastBacc cohorts and a voice-over reading the names of each graduate as a slide appears with their name, photo and a heartfelt message.
“During the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and this month as we celebrate Nurses Month and National Nurses Week, we could not be prouder of our wonderful new Baylor nurses,” said Dean Shelley F. Conroy, EdD, MS, RN, CNE, Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing. “We wish them continued success in their bright future ahead as they exemplify our school motto, Learn.Lead.Serve.”
In addition to the festivities during this time of year, nursing students graduating in May typically receive their nursing school pin and cords at the LHSON Pinning & Recognition Ceremony in Dallas prior to Baylor University Commencement in Waco. Each pin is distinctive; and for the nurse, it also symbolizes honorable completion of a rigorous and physically demanding nursing program. The cords signify membership into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the Baylor Student Nurses Association. Due to the postponement of events, students were given the opportunity to pick up their pins and cords in person or they could be mailed. Many of the grads wanted to wear their nursing school pin at their jobs this summer. So, LHSON arranged pick-up instructions that included: advance sign-up which only allowed four students per 30-minute block over two days. A tent was set-up outside the nursing school on May 13-14. LHSON faculty and staff distributed pins and cords to students as they drove through the half circle driveway or students could get out and take them off the table. Everyone was asked to practice social distancing guidelines and encouraged to wear a mask. The LHSON photo backdrop was displayed in the parking lot for snapshots with graduates and their families. Grads were also given LHSON yard signs stating, A Proud Baylor Nursing Grad Lives Here.
“It was an incredible experience to celebrate our graduates this week even if it had to be in an alternative fashion,” said Monica Mullins, Director of Student Services, LHSON. “While we would have much preferred to gather in a formal ceremony to honor the tremendous work of these remarkable men and women, we were grateful to share a few moments with them and remind them that they are loved, celebrated, and deserving of all of our admiration. They persisted through the final weeks of their nursing education with determination and resilience. We wish them great success as they enter this most noble profession.”