Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony | May 4, 2023

The 2023 Nursing Class gathered with family and friends in the Maranatha gymnasium on Thursday, May 4, for the culmination of their undergraduate nursing program: the Nurses’ Pinning ceremony. This ceremony carries significance in the career of a nurse as it is the initiation to the brotherhood and sisterhood of the nursing profession. Each facet in the order of events has historical, traditional significance.  

The modern ceremony dates to the 1860s when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross by Queen Victoria. Florence Nightingale started the tradition in her nursing school of awarding medals of excellence to her brightest students. Today, pins are given to each graduate commemorating their entrance into the nursing profession. 

The 2023 graduates from the Maranatha Baptist University School of Nursing are as follows: 

  •         Samuel Corbin Blankenship
  •         Elisabeth Pearl Delaney
  •         Taylor Lynn Ellis
  •         Veronica Kathleen Fultz
  •         Braeden Kent Hansel
  •         Nita Janel Heiderich
  •         Megan Diane Herbster
  •         Tessa Rae Holmes
  •         Esther Sue Post
  •         Katherine Sophia Thompson

Opening of the Ceremony 

Miss Tami Gunselman, Director of the School of Nursing, opened the pinning ceremony, introducing the Nursing professors and recognizing the important role they play in the training of the graduate candidates.

Following Gunselman’s opening remarks, Dr. David Brown, Professor in the Music Department, sang “O To Be Like Thee”; the lyrics of which challenged the nursing graduates to desire to be Christ-like “full of compassion, loving, forgiving, tender, and kind.”

A Charge from Mr. Mark Herbster 

Mr. Mark Herbster, Dean of the College of Bible & Church Ministries and Maranatha Baptist Seminary, followed the special music with a charge to the graduates.  

Herbster spoke on the topic “Nurses like Christ”. He referenced Romans 8:29 and read from Ephesians 4:11-15. 

He challenged them to be in Christ and like Christ in the following ways: 

  • Pursue the truth over lies and deception. Never stop learning and growing in your Christian life. 
  • Cultivate love over manipulation and maliciousness. Love as Christ has loved you. 
  • Nurture dependence over selfishness and pride. Run to Christ and His word. 

Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award 

Gunselman presented the Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award. Each year, this award is given by Mr. and Mrs. Gary Sutherland to a graduate who intends to serve the Lord through nursing. The recipient is one who “demonstrates consistent, outstanding bedside manner, displays godly character, and has a high academic achievement” in classes. 

This year’s Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award was presented to graduating senior Megan Herbster. Herbster was described by her classmates as “personally dedicated to the Lord.” 

Throughout her senior year, Herbster “was reminded of the incredible ministry opportunity I have a Christian nursing professional.” She recognized that these people are often helpless and just need a listening ear. She looks forward to being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with patients. 

 Nurses’ Pinning and the Florence Nightingale Pledge 

Following this presentation, each of the 10 graduates received a nurse pin that was pinned onto his or her coat by a family member. Each newly pinned graduate lit a candle and stood with the others as they recited the Nightingale Pledge together, promising to “do all in [their] power to maintain and elevate the standard of [their] profession” and to be “devoted toward the welfare of those committed to [their] care.” 


Dr. William Licht, Vice President for Academic Affairs, then offered a prayer of dedication. Gunselman closed the ceremony with a final congratulation to the Maranatha Baptist University’s Nursing Class of 2023. 

To view the ceremony, click here

To view photos, click here