A tradition in the school of nursing is the "Pinning" ceremony. At this special ceremony given for the graduating nursing students, family and friends, the students get to dedicate their nursing pin. Near the end of the ceremony they take a pledge which reaches back to Florence Nightengale who distinguished herself during the Crimean War nursing sick and wounded British soldiers. Because of her selfless duty during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale became known as the "lady with the lamp." As a tribute to Florence's dedication, the lamp icon became symbolic of nursing. The lamp will always shine brightly as a symbol of the care and devotion the nurse administers to the sick and injured in the practice of Nursing. The Florence Nightingale Pledge:
"I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly to faithfully practice my profession of nursing. I will do all in my power to make and maintain the highest standards and practices of my profession.
I will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping in the practice of my calling. I will assist the physician in his work and will devote myself to the welfare of my patients, my family, and my community.
I will endeavor to fulfill my rights and privileges as a good citizen and take my share of responsibility in promoting the health and welfare of the community.
I will constantly endeavor to increase my knowledge and skills in nursing and to use them wisely. I will zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need.
I will be active in assisting others in safeguarding and promoting the health and happiness of mankind."
The nursing graduates honor the dedication of Nurse Nightingale and symbolically plan to carry the ideals for which she stood in the Candle lighting portion of the pinning ceremony. The tradition of Candle lighting and Pledge recognizes her ideals.