A&M International Nurses Begin New Pinning Tradition

"I will zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need."

These words, found in "The Nurses Pledge," were recited as part of a new tradition at Texas A&M International University during the historic first pinning ceremony for the 21 graduates of the Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing's four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

The event took place in the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library and was followed with a reception.

Highlights of the ceremony were the selection of Sister Mary Adele Fuchs of Mercy Health Center as the recipient of the first "Border Nurse of the Year Award;" the naming of student Maricarmen Salinas by her fellow students as the recipient of the "Border Pioneer Nurse Award" and the selection by the Canseco School of Nursing faculty of two students with the highest numerical average in nursing coursework, Sandee Guerrero and Elizabeth Kazen, to receive the Academic Achievement Award.

Dr. Susan Baker, Canseco School of Nursing Director, said the pinning tradition has long been a standard part of nursing school programs around the world.

"Pinning a nurse with her or his School insignia has come to represent a welcome into the profession and signals the graduate's first step into that profession. It's a way of honoring our graduates and wishing them continued success in the future," she observed.

The ceremony featured a processional, invocation, keynote address, presentation of awards, presentation of candidates and their respective pins and a moving group recitation of "The Nurse's Pledge."

Providing the keynote address for the ceremony was Clair Jordan, executive director of the Texas Nurses Association. Jordan's comments emphasized the need for nurses to take an active role in their communities and in political action that will determine the future for nursing and health care.

Musical performances were offered by Fritz C. Gechter, assistant professor of piano, and student James H. Hickey.

The University's nursing program has become one of its most popular majors and is the beneficiary of widespread community and corporate support, providing nursing students with financial assistance, overall program support and employment opportunities upon graduation.

Baker noted that of the 21 basic nursing graduates, 20 had committed to jobs in Laredo, 10 at each of the two major hospitals, despite aggressive recruitment and promises of high sign-on bonuses from outside the area.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Baker at the Canseco School of Nursing, 326. 2574, email to sbaker@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in Canseco Hall 315.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu