College of Nursing and Human Services recognizes nursing and social work grads during pinning ceremonies

The University of Pikeville (UPIKE) College of Nursing and Human Services (CNHS) recently honored students graduating from the university’s nursing and social work programs during a pair of pinning ceremonies.

On Thursday, May 5, the Elliott School of Nursing held a pinning ceremony in Booth Auditorium, honoring 43 Associate of Science in Nursing students receiving their nursing pins. The ceremony commemorates the students’ successful completion of their nursing coursework and clinical rotations. 

Karen Damron, Ph.D., RN, dean of CNHS, addressed the graduates, praising their hard work and commitment to the nursing profession.

“The fact that all of you began this journey in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a true testament to your perseverance,” said Damron. “Today, the pinning ceremony celebrates your accomplishments as a student and a transition into the nursing profession. This is an important milestone and a symbol of your dedication and hard work over the past few years.”

Students were pinned by nursing faculty and recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge. The traditional ceremonial dates to the 1860s and was adopted by Nightingale to honor her most outstanding graduate nurses.

On Friday, May 6, the school of social work held its pinning ceremony in Booth Auditorium. Guests honored eight graduates receiving their bachelor’s in social work and 15 graduates receiving their master of social work. 

Genesia Kilgore-Bowling, Ph.D., MSW, CSW, chair and professor with the school of social work and director of the master’s program, celebrated graduates along with friends, families, professors and colleagues in attendance. 

Kilgore-Bowling reminded students of the important and needed work they are entering into as professionals in the field of social work. 

“Our world needs you, each one of you,” said Kilgore-Bowling. “As the faculty and I have prepared for this evening, we’ve had a lot of time to reflect on our time with you and how you have changed and grown professionally and personally. We are inspired by how you have faced challenges with the courage of a superhero and how you have persevered, and it has been that perseverance that has brought you to this place tonight.”