BCC and Nursing Students Need to Reach Compromise on Pinning Ceremony
Before yesterday, I had never even heard of a nurse's pinning ceremony. Less than 24 hours later, I know all about them, and how significant they are to the nursing community.
Talking to a bunch of nurses, I have learned that there is a very real emotional attachment that spans generations of men and women who have dedicated their lives to healing and helping others. The pinning ceremony is something that gets nursing students through those long, sleepless nights of studying. It gets them through all of the family celebrations that they miss because of school. It gets them through the rigorous demands of becoming a nurse.
I'm not the only one who has learned about just how important a pinning ceremony is to current and former nursing students. I believe Bristol Community College has also learned a lesson. I don't mean that to be snarky, I truly don't. I sincerely think that BCC may not have known just how much pushback they might get from students, family members, members of the local nurses association, and others for dropping the pinning ceremony.
I think the decision has left many people baffled. Who is looking at this decision to drop the nurses' pinning ceremony and saying, "GREAT IDEA, BCC. So awesome!" At the very least, there is a disconnect between BCC and their paying customers.
But, here's the good news: I don't think it's too late to get this back on track.
One idea that we had on the Rock and Fox Show this morning was to offer to help organize a separate off-campus pinning ceremony that would take place in the days after graduation. Normally, members of the BCC faculty are the ones that conduct the ceremony for the graduating students; however, students indicated that the school would never allow the faculty to be a part of it. Maybe alumni could preside?
I ran the idea by a BCC official today, and she assured me that the college would never stop faculty from participating in an event like this if they chose to do so. However, she stressed that we're not quite at the point that we'd need outside intervention yet.
I feel like she is right. There's an awful lot of time between now and graduation. Heck, we haven't even put pumpkins on the front steps yet.
I think that what needs to happen is that BCC has to sit down with student leaders and faculty members to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
As it stands now, there are too many outside voices (like mine) getting involved in things that we don't know a whole lot about. These are people with great intentions, who care about the nursing students in their lives, but that may be muddying the waters. Granted, the reason that these outside voices are the ones protesting is because the student body is scared stiff about speaking out about their grievance. There's no doubt about this. Students are petrified that they'll be kicked out of the BCC nursing program if they express their disappointment in the cancellation of the traditional pinning ceremony. A BCC spokesperson couldn't stress enough to me today that this simply isn't the case.
As an outsider, the only thing I can say is that this seems like such an avoidable problem. Obviously, the college underestimated the passion that the nursing students have for the pinning ceremony. There needs to be some kind of correction. Maybe it's in the form of the traditional ceremony happening the morning of graduation before the official commencement begins?
If family attendance at the graduation is the school's main concern, maybe a concession that the students can offer is that the pinning ceremony is open to students only. Family would be invited only to attend the official graduation. This would boost attendance.
I'm a guy who loves tradition. There aren't many traditions left in America that have survived over 100 years. A century of tradition shouldn't be tossed aside so lightly. BCC and the students need to figure out a way to protect this pinning ceremony. Clearly, it means a lot to the students. The college needs to reconsider canceling something that brings so much joy and reward to their students (their customers).
Get it done.
Ooops, I said I was going to butt out, didn't I?