Camarillo, Calif., April 26, 2012 – The Nursing Program at CSU Channel Islands (CI) will welcome 26 graduates into the profession and reaffirm the commitment of 24 others with a pinning ceremony on Saturday, May 5, at 10 a.m. at the Broome Library on the CI campus.

The pinning ceremony is a time-honored tradition that originated more than 1,000 years ago when Hospitaller knights wore pins in the shape of a cross under their armor.  The pins represented service in the care of knights fallen in battle.  Today, the pinning tradition continues as a rite of passage for nursing program graduates.

“Pinning is a special moment that marks the beginning of every nurse’s career,” said Dr. Karen Jensen, Director of the Nursing Program at CI.  “The nursing pin represents the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice on the part of the graduating nursing students and also welcomes the students to the profession.”

CI has made the tradition even more personal by allowing the graduates to select family members, mentors or other special individuals to present them with their pins.  As the student walks to the stage to be pinned, a nursing faculty member will read a personal message written by the student to their family, instructors and fellow graduates.

RN–BSN graduate Debbie Gorman, who began her nursing career at Moorpark College, chose a lifelong friend and nurse who inspired her own path in nursing to pin her.

“I think pinning is a great honor,” Gorman said.  “It is a ceremony specific to nursing and celebrates the completion of a long journey.  It also allows a mentor to get the opportunity to symbolically pass their blessing and knowledge onto you by pinning you.”

CI opened its Nursing Program in Camarillo in 2007 and recently expanded to offer a nursing bachelor’s degree in Goleta in partnership with Cottage Health System.  In a few short years, CI’s program has become highly competitive and renowned for its research and evidence-based curriculum. The Nursing Program offers a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as a fast-track program, plus the traditional ADN–BSN programs that allow students who have completed their prerequisite courses to receive their BSN and RN certification in as little as 14 to 22 months.

The pinning ceremony will include remarks from CI President Richard Rush and Glenda Cox, Chief Nursing Officer at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.  Awards will be presented to students for outstanding volunteer service, academic performance and clinical work.

“The pinning ceremony is much more significant to me compared to graduation,” said graduate Kathleen Chase.  “The intimacy of the ceremony, combined with the meaning of being pinned, allows for my family and friends to understand why nursing is so important to me.  While I am excited to celebrate with all of the other degree candidates at graduation, there is nothing better than celebrating my achievements with the people I cherish the most – my classmates.”

For more information, contact Cheryl Sund, Administrative Support Coordinator, at 805-437-2691 or

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.