NYSCAS Nursing Class Celebrates First-ever Pinning Ceremony

First Graduating Nursing Class Takes Part in Ceremony Marking the Completion of the Undergraduate Program

February 02, 2023
The 23 members of NYSCAS' first graduating class of nurses pose for a photo all in white nursing scrubs, as is traditional for nursing graduation pinning ceremonies. Five males and 18 females now have the Associate of Science in Nursing and are ready to take their RN licensing exams.
The first NYSCAS graduating nursing class at the pinning ceremony held at the Cross River Campus in Times Square.

The pinning ceremony is a tradition dating back to the 1860s, when it first took place at the Nightingale School of Nursing in London. In the United States, the first pin was presented to the graduating nursing class of 1880 at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.

“The wearing of the nursing pin is a privilege earned by graduates of nursing programs across the country,” said Dr. Patricia Burke, the nursing program director at NYSCAS. “It is a symbol of the practice of nursing and represents the education that one has received, as well as a commitment to service and caregiving.”

The graduating class began the nursing program during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a cohort, Dr. Burke said, “they are resilient, flexible, and persistent in the pursuit of excellence. Several students were accepted into competitive externship programs usually reserved for baccalaureate students.”

The students also provided hands-on care to ventilator-trach patients at one of Touro’s clinical sites, where they gained the skills needed to practice.

The Graduating Class: “NYSCAS Feels Like Home”

“NYSCAS feels like home,” said graduate Anthony Pavella, who was awarded his pin during the ceremony on Sunday. “The professors were always approachable whenever I had any issues; all of them were great mentors, and I was never afraid of asking for help.”

Pavella said he chose to study nursing because he wanted a rewarding career focused on helping others.

“Nurses have a variety of tasks and responsibilities, including administering medications, providing emotional support to patients and their family members during difficult times, taking part in a wide range of treatments, and working alongside other healthcare professionals,” he said. “Nurses learn new things every day, and no day is like the previous one.”

Graduate Chiamaka Osawe, who is the VP of the Nursing Club at NYSCAS, has eight years of experience working in healthcare as a nursing attendant and patient care technician. She currently works in the emergency room of NYU Langone Health.

“When I started the nursing program at NYSCAS in the fall of 2020, most of my classes were virtual,” Osawe said. “I was blessed with great professors, and I’m grateful to all of them. Each course goes in-depth into the disease process and disorders I will encounter when I start working as a nurse.”

Osawe also enjoyed her clinical experience because it allowed her to get hands-on experience and work alongside experienced nurses. “The nurses were amazing—they were happy to teach my classmates and me,” Osawe said.

The Dedication of the Pins

During the ceremony, the students recited the International Pledge for Nurses. Each student dedicated their pin to a significant person in their life—a mentor, a faculty member, a family member, or a close friend.

Graduate Ariel Batyrov, from Brooklyn, dedicated his pin to his mother, who has been a nurse for 20 years and inspired him to begin his journey in the medical field. “My mother helped me a lot during my studies; whenever I had a question, I knew I could rely on her,” Batyrov said. He explained that his parents immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union with nothing, making his achievement even more significant.

Batyrov completed several rotations during the program, including two rotations at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Pavella also dedicated his pin to his mother. “She raised me as a single mother,” he explained. “I am grateful for all she has done and for accepting me for who I am.”

Osawe dedicated her pin to her husband and children. “I worked so hard to get to where I am today because I want to give them a better life,” she said. “I thank God for my husband, who has made many sacrifices for me to get this degree.”

Dr. Burke said this is just the first step in the students’ continuing education as nurses: “They will go on to graduate education, taking the knowledge, skills, and values from their Touro education and making a difference in their communities.”