“Now We’re Going to Save as Many Lives as Possible”

Friends and Families Celebrate with Class of 2018

July 11, 2018
"Now we’re going to save as many lives as possible,” said Raquel Fernandez as she celebrated with her classmates during the School of Health Sciences Nursing program's pinning ceremony on June 28.

“I’m so proud to be here,” said Raquel Fernandez who is originally from the Dominican Republic and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. “We all worked so hard—we deserve to be here. Now we’re going to save as many lives as possible.”

The pinning ceremony dates back to the 1860s and is the symbolic entrance to the nursing profession.

Opening the ceremonies, student Yisroel Taub, treasurer of the class of 2018, spoke for many of his peers in thanking the family that stood by him throughout his studies. “We are eternally grateful to family and friends who have supported us as we have pursued the noble cause of nursing,” said Taub.

SHS Nursing department director Sandra Russo spoke of the journey the students took as

“It has been a long and arduous, but successful, journey.”

Dr. Frank Gardner, associate dean of the School of Health Sciences, praised the students for their commitment to the healing arts.

“Nurses are a core part of the health team,” said Dr. Gardner. “You have been held to the highest standard and are now ready to take care of your fellow man. For entering the health field, “You deserve our thanks.”

Student Jessica Dell’Alba, secretary of the class of 2018, delivered remarks on behalf of her classmates. “We never gave up and here we are,” said Dell’Alba. She also noted that the administration claimed that the class was the most outspoken in the nursing program’s twelve-year history, a trait she felt would help them in the future.

“Any time we had an issue, suggestion question concern or even a comment someone has always spoken up,” she said. “We have chosen a career that puts patients first. There is no doubt, that every nurse here will be the best possible patient advocate that they can be.”

SHS Nursing assistant director, Patricia Burke, spoke of the history of the ceremony itself, which began when the Queen of England awarded a medal to Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of the modern nursing profession.

Students were each then presented with a pin, inscribed with a lamp and the Touro logo. (Nightingale was known as “The Woman with the Lamp” since she treated wounded soldiers at night.) The ceremony concluded with the candle lighting ceremony where each student held a candle while reciting the Nightingale Pledge.

“Light illuminates,” said SHS Professor Marry Ellen Luczun during the ceremony. “Light dispels darkness… Nurses are light.”