Thirty-six students who will graduate in January from Gateway Community College’s associate degree nursing program participated today in a pinning ceremony to mark the transition from student to professional.
A time-honored tradition, pinning ceremonies trace their origins to nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, who received the Cross of St. George from Britain’s Queen Victoria in 1855 for her service in caring for injured British soldiers. When special nursing schools were later founded using Nightingale’s principles and practices, the awarding of pins and medals to outstanding graduates became increasingly common until it was eventually established as a right of passage from student to practitioner.
The ceremony was held at GCC’s North Haven campus at 88 Bassett Road. It was the second pinning ceremony ever held in December at GCC. Previously, GCC held nursing pinning ceremonies only in May at the end of each spring semester, but the college will now hold them in both December and May to accommodate the two classes that were created starting in 2008 when the program added a second annual start date.
The 36 nursing students who participated in the pinning were: Branford resident Mabel Goessinger; Bridgeport resident Sonia Morais; Cheshire residents Maria Cuda and Laurel Glenn; East Haven residents Andrea Brown-Whittingham, Xiaoxue Amanda Liu and Katherine Collins; Hamden residents Nyiesha Brathwaite-Bowens, Mykell Horner and Linda Taylor; Killingworth resident Rosemary Fox; Madison resident Jeimy Rodriguez; Marlborough resident Katherine Woerle; Meriden resident Amanda Smith; Naugatuck residents Danielle Colantuono and Amanda Maxwell; New Britian resident Joan Kozak; New Haven residents Shawn Thomas, Igochukwu Amadi and Anna Gorczynska; New Milford resident Caitlin Fitzsimmons; North Haven resident Jennifer Lanzoni; Northford resident Cynthia Coppola; South Meriden resident Sharon Couturier-Hernandez; Stratford resident Jasper Connor; Torrington resident Rosemary Lovallo; Wallingford resident Linda Walters; West Hartford residents Viktoriya Stork and Daisy Tran; West Haven residents Annette Gil (formerly Salagar), Fatma Demir, Pashion Edmundson, Mary Gilberti and Tracy Wrightington; Whitneyville resident Lindsey Roome; and Wolcott resident Erica Onofreo.
Since its inception in 2002, GCC’s nursing program tripled in size, producing more than 300 graduates. The program features award-winning faculty and has been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, an organization nationally recognized as a specialized accrediting agency for both post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education. It also is the first and only program of its kind in the state community college system to offer courses and clinical rotations in the evening, making nursing a career option for working students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue it.