COVID alters graduating nurses' traditional ceremony in Iowa

ANKENY, Iowa- Graduating nurses at Des Moines Area Community College will experience a new twist on a long-standing tradition, because of the pandemic.

New nurses have a pinning ceremony when they graduate, to welcome them into the profession, but this year, DMACC will hold brief, individual ceremonies outside the homes of each graduate, with social distancing.

“The nursing pinning ceremony is such a rite of passage for nursing graduates as they are officially welcomed into the profession, and is incredibly meaningful to our graduates,” said Dr. Kendra Ericson, DMACC Nursing Education Director. “We wanted to continue that tradition while being safe.”

One hundred nursing students will graduate from the DMACC Nursing Program this spring at it's campuses in Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, and Des Moines.

The pinning ceremonies are being held in conjunction with National Nurses Week (May 6-12), and include the reading of the Nightingale Pledge, named after Florence Nightingale who is who is considered the founder of modern nursing.