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      Nursing Nightingale Ceremony

      The School of Nursing Celebrates Largest Class at Nightingale Ceremony

      Nightingale Ceremony

      Nursing students recite the Nightingale Pledge while holding a candle light.

      The School of Nursing honored 146 seniors – the school’s largest graduating class – on Thursday, May 18 during its annual nightingale ceremony, a traditional pinning ceremony for graduating nursing students, reflecting the values and traditions of the profession.

      While holding a lit candle to honor Florence Nightingale, who made late-night, solitary rounds in a Crimean military hospital to care for wounded soldiers by candlelight, students recite the Nightingale Pledge, written by the International Council of Nurses, and vow to uphold the integrity of the profession. The burning candle flame symbolizes the human spirit that is at the core of healing both now and back then.

      Dr. Mary Francis, assistant professor in nursing at Widener, gave the keynote address at the ceremony, which was held at the Springfield Country Club. In her remarks, Francis shared her story. “Stories can tell you a lot about someone,” she said. “As a nurse, we are often the ones that get to hear the patient’s stories. So be sure to listen.” Francis, who has taught at Widener since 2005, shared anecdotes of her own life that are a part of her story, which led her to pursue her passion in the field of nursing and eventually write her dissertation on gun violence.

      Widener University President Dr. Julie E. Wollman reminded students that they were not just graduating but they were taking on the responsibility as a nurse. “Your work is the most important – you will change lives. You will save lives.”

      Emily Wolk, ’17, was the student speaker for the ceremony. She reminded her peers of how far they have come – from “keeping Dunkin Donuts in business” to knowing the "most correct" answer for exams. She echoed President Wollmans’ remarks, “let’s go save the world.”

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