Article contributed by Marty Love.
And yet, when we were without hope and without strength, God valued us so highly that He became man, came down to man, bore the sins of man, and died for man, to reverse the fall of man, so that man might live forever with God. This is how we maintain compassion for (our patients). We long to see them restored to the full glory of the image of God. —Dr. Stephen Dersch, family practice physician, guest speaker
Maranatha Baptist University hosted its 11th Nurses Pinning Ceremony Thursday morning, May 3.
Mrs. Susan Rasmussen, director of the School of Nursing, welcomed family members, friends, faculty and professionals from the community. She explained that the Nurses Pinning Ceremony was a time of reflection as well as a charge. She congratulated the nursing graduates for their hard work, noting that this year alone, each had completed 225 hours of clinical experience and more than 1,000 hours in the four years combined.
Rasmussen introduced the nursing faculty, recognized former faculty members who had impacted the graduates and expressed appreciation for preceptors from area hospitals who, as integral partners, provide opportunities for the required clinical experience. She then summarized a brief history of Pinning Ceremonies, beginning with the 12th-century Crusades and progressing to the 1800’s, when Florence Nightingale presented badges and lamps to graduates of her nurses training school.
Importance of Florence Nightingale Pledge
Rasmussen noted that accountability, commitment and communication are elements of the pledge, as well as an implied regard for the sanctity of human life. Maranatha’s nursing graduates continue to recite the pledge, she shared, “because it echoes the ethical and biblical standards” in Scripture, and reminds students that as nurses they must commit themselves to the welfare of patients, “even when it is inconvenient, uncomfortable, and at times unrewarding.”
Dr. David Brown, professor in the Department of Music, sang Craig Courtney’s arrangement of Frances Havergal’s dedicatory prayer: “Take My Life, and Let It Be.”
A Special Charge from Dr. Stephen Dersch
Dr. Stephen Dersch, a hospitalist from Florence, South Carolina, a medical missions team member with Operation Renewed Hope and a “beloved mentor” of the class of 2018, presented the charge to the graduates. He reminisced briefly about the recent nursing trip to Uganda and commended the students for the “great attitudes and spirit” they presented throughout the trip.
Dr. Dersch reflected on his own medical training when he was challenged to write a mission statement. God used it to “crystalize” his thoughts and to develop a statement which has been “an anchor” throughout his medical career, to keep his “thoughts, emotions, and perspective centered on the most important things.” His mission statement reads:
To honor and glorify God by competently and compassionately caring for those whom He has created in His own image.
Dr. Dersch noted that the “chief end of man is to bring honor and glory to God” and that the “ultimate goal as medical providers is to exalt Jesus Christ and to make Him look good.” He urged graduates to allow that truth to settle into their hearts as a stabilizing truth.
He cautioned against some common errors, stating, “If you are a nurse for the excitement of it, even the ER will become mundane very quickly. If you do it for the praise of others, you will get it far less frequently than you need or want. If you do it for the money, you will quickly develop the attitude that this is not worth it.” On the other hand, however, he asked, “If a cup of cold water, given in Jesus’ name, merits a reward, how much treasure in Heaven will you be laying up, as you give your lives to minster to the sick for the sake of God’s glory?”
He listed three ways in which graduates can glorify God in their medical career:
- Competency, which will require preparation, hard work, attention to details, continual learning, and consideration of criticisms
- Compassion, that “intangible mix of pity and love” which is evident when nursing is a ministry, not merely a job
- Prayer, the key when competency reaches it limit and when compassion fails, and when cynicism develops—“Pray,” he urged, “that the glorious light of the Gospel will be both seen and heard through you.”
Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award
The Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award is given annually by Mr. and Mrs. Gary Sutherland to a graduate who “demonstrates consistent, outstanding bedside manner” and “has a high achievement” in classes. This year’s recipient was Luke Cleghorn. Mrs. Rasmussen testified that Luke demonstrated “compassion that crossed cultural boundaries” during the trip to Uganda, but also with patients in clinical. Luke has evidenced leadership in prayer, “portrayed professionalism in and out of the classroom” and has shown skill in meeting the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients, acknowledging patient assignments as “planned by God.”
Following this presentation, each of the 11 graduates received his or her lamp. Nurse’s pins were pinned onto their lab coats by family members. With their lamps lit, graduates recited the Nightingale Pledge, 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.”
In conclusion, graduates sang together the words of Carolyn Hamlin’s moving piece, “Grace.”
Dr. William Licht, Vice President for Academic Affairs, gave a prayer of dedication, praying specifically for each graduate by name. Then, Mrs. Rasmussen proudly presented Maranatha Baptist University’s Nursing Class of 2018, congratulating all graduates and their families.
View more photos of the 2018 Nurses Pinning Ceremony in the MBU photo gallery.