Heart and Art Are Keys to Nursing, Graduates Told During Nurses Pinning Ceremony at Rhode Island College

Lauren Costa, a nursing graduate from Cranston, accepts congratulations from Dean Jane Williams.

Lauren Costa, a nursing graduate from Cranston, accepts congratulations from Dean Jane Williams.

The nursing profession can be summed up in two words – heart and art, according to speakers at the Rhode Island College School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

Nurses not only are experts when it comes to the anatomy and physiology of the heart, but they’re also the heart of the health care profession, said Ronald Pitt, vice president of academic affairs. Without nurses, he said, “there would be no health care, whatsoever.”

Linda Damon, vice president of patient care services at Butler Hospital, who provided the keynote address, concurred, saying the relationship between a nurse and a patient is at “the core of what you do – the core of what nursing is.”

That relationship is the heart of the profession, Damon told the nearly 100 nursing graduates, whose family and friends nearly filled the auditorium in Roberts Hall for the ceremony on Jan. 16.

Damon also noted that nursing is an art as well as a science, with nurses using a mix of education, training and communication skills to provide medical care in a variety of settings, in a variety of different ways.

“You’ve chosen the noblest profession,” Damon said, noting that a recent Gallup poll showed that people consider nursing to be the “the most trusted profession in the world.”

The pinning ceremony is a tradition for nursing school graduates, said Jane Williams, dean of the School of Nursing. She presented each graduate with a pin that includes both the Rhode Island College seal, with the flame representing knowledge, as well as the image of a lantern, like that once carried by Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Those symbols are significant, Williams said, because “we as nurses still strive to bring light and care to those in need.”

Damon also reminded the graduates that as they go into the field, whichever path of nursing they may choose: “Remember to listen. Remember your heart – and remember your art.”