Blue & Gold Ceremonies welcome prelicensure students to health care

More than 100 soon-to-be nurses received their UCLA Nursing pins on Saturday, June 4 at the School of Nursing Blue & Gold Ceremonies, also known as pinning.

The pinning ceremony marks an important milestone in a student’s journey to the nursing profession. Made up of students from the Bachelor of Science and Master's Entry Clinical Nurse programs, the ceremonies take place just before graduation, as students prepare to take their licensing exams.

Watch the Bachelor of Science Ceremony | Watch the MECN Ceremony

Historians trace the tradition of the pinning pack to the 12th century, when the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist cared for the injured and suffering soldiers. When new monks were brought into the Knights Order, they vowed to serve these sick soldiers in a ceremony where each monk was given a Maltese cross—the first badges given to those who nurse. In the 1860’s, Florence Nightingale was honored with the Red Cross of St. George for her selfless efforts during the Crimean War. Nightingale, in turn, presented a medal of excellence to her hardest working nursing graduates. By 1916, the practice of pinning new graduates became a standard throughout the United States. Pins identified the students as nurses and showed proof of their education.

Hundreds of family and friends packed the Garry Shandling Learning Studio at Geffen Hall to celebrate this tradition. Students and attendees heard from UCLA Nursing Dean Lin Zhan, UCLA Health Chief Nurse Executive Karen Grimley, and several faculty and student speakers.

Several awards, including leadership and empathy awards, were also given out during the two ceremonies.

B.S. Student Award Recipients:

  • Leadership – Cecilia Jardon
  • Empathy – Clarissa Cabil
  • Team Player – Chathuri Gunasekera

MECN Student Award Recipients:

  • Leadership – Yuki Minami & Gabriel Barrios
  • Empathy – Joseph Grotts
  • Team Player – Kimberly Nunez