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The University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing celebrated the accomplishments of 30 graduates Saturday afternoon during a special pinning ceremony.
Graduates received a nursing pin. Mary Virginia Jacobs, an accomplished advocate for nursing higher education, was the keynote speaker.
"Pinning ceremonies are a tradition at schools of nursing and represent a rite of passage," said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing.
The pinning ceremony followed UHV's afternoon spring commencement ceremony for nursing and business students. Eighteen Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing candidates for graduation and a dozen Master of Science in Nursing candidates for graduation were pinned.
The pin presented to the nurses during the ceremony will stay on their lapels for the rest of their professional careers to let patients know the nurses are well-educated to care for them. The pin also reminds the nurses of their achievements to reach the honored position in nursing they hold.
The pin itself signifies the nursing program from which a nurse graduated. Each nursing school has its own unique pin.
Jacobs said she always enjoys pinning ceremonies, and was excited to offer words of encouragement to the graduates. She talked about how education is crucial to better nursing practices. Patients can tell the difference between hospitals that hire nurses of various educational levels and ones that only hire nurses with advance degrees.
"The best example of why education is significant is how nurses with additional education have a greater tendency to apply evidence-based nursing care," Jacobs said.
Her advice to the graduates is to go back to the research when questions arise.
"Don't just take people's word for it," she said. "Base your answer on research for the situation."
Jacobs earned a bachelor's in nursing from Incarnate Word College and then worked as a school nurse in Yoakum. She later returned to school and completed a certificate course as a family nurse practitioner at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She became nationally certified as both a school nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. She also earned a master's in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.