Nursing Pins Have a Long
& Storied History
Since Florence Nightingale, herself, created a nursing school in 1860 nursing pins have played an important role in recognizing nurses’ academic achievements.
Nightingale felt it was important to present an award to nurses who completed her school’s training and so decided to award a badge with a Maltese cross when they completed training at the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London.
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The new tradition carried over to the United States and when the first graduating class occurred at Bellevue Hospital in New York in 1880, the graduates were awarded custom nursing pins that featured a crane in the center to represent vigilance, a circle made up of a band of blue to represent constancy and an outer band of red to represent mercy and relief of suffering.
Today, the awarding of nursing pins to graduates is an important part of the graduation process.
Nurse lapel pins allow nurses to show off their academic credentials as well as their pride in their nursing school. The nursing pins can vary widely in shape and imagery. Each school has a unique pin design that symbolizes something about the school’s history or values or qualifications.
One common image that appears on many nursing pins for graduation is a lamp. The lamp is used because Nightingale was referred to as “the lady with the lamp” in a poem entitled “Saint Philomena,” which was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Whatever imagery is used and whatever size the nursing pin is, both the pin and the accompanying ceremony have become very meaningful for nurses around the world.
At Vivipins, talented technicians make sure that nurses receive the highest quality custom nursing pins so that they are proud of the pin and will wear it with pride.