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Senior Nursing Students Receive Saint Anselm Pin

April 25, 2016

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

Saturday, April 23 was a memorable day for the 67 senior nursing majors who received their Saint Anselm College nurse's pin in a ceremony at the Abbey Church.

Dating back to 1860, the pinning ceremony is a proud moment for the student nurses as they are welcomed into the nursing profession. It is a celebration symbolizing their preparedness to serve as a compassionate caregiver.

"Congratulations on accomplishing all of the hard work that has gotten you here," said Dr. Maureen O'Reilly, executive director of nursing, in her opening remarks. "Your pin will forever mark you as a Saint Anselm graduate."

Senior Elaina De Mello of Bedford, N.H. was chosen to represent her class as the student speaker. In her reflections upon what it means to be a nurse, De Mello shared that to her, "the profession carries the qualities of love." When patients experience illness, she explained, nurses have the opportunity to help them through their emotional and spiritual struggles. "For a brief moment, we enter into their worlds and I believe if we enter with love, we have the ability to provide healing that goes beyond simply caring for their physical needs," said De Mello.

"To be a nurse means to meet people where they are at. It means when a prisoner is escorted to your care by guards, that you treat them with the same love and respect as your other patients, because you may be the only person that entire day who treats them with dignity. To be a nurse means you share in your patient's sufferings. It means when you meet a man in an elevator, crying because his baby just passed away, that you share one of the most raw and meaningful hugs you have ever given another human being. Part of nursing is being vulnerable, knowing that taking the responsibility to love and care for those who are sick and suffering can be the most joyful or heartbreaking decision you can make every day," she said.

De Mello, who is currently finishing her clinical experience in the emergency department at Concord Hospital in Concord, N.H., says that she feels blessed to have completed her nursing experience at Saint Anselm College.

"While the curriculum here is challenging, it's so rewarding," she said. "Saint Anselm has taught me the importance of caring for my patients holistically, how to have empathy, and how to use our resources so we can provide the best patient care possible."

Saint Anselm Nursing Pinning 2016

Blessing of the Pins
The nurses' pins were blessed by Father Benedict Guevin, O.S.B., and presented to each graduating senior by Dr. O'Reilly and several nursing faculty: Professors Karen GraftonAnn Fournier '99, and Caryn Sheehan '94.

The design of the pin, presented to all Saint Anselm nursing graduates, features a shield that includes elements from the official seal of the college. The symbol of the lamp refers to Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp of my steps and a life for my path." The inscription, Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini, means "The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

Presentation of Awards
Elaina De Mello '16 and Ashley Blades '16 were recognized with the Dr. Joanne K. Farley Award, and Jessica Gipson '16 was awarded the Student Nurse Leader Award in memory of Dr. Joyce Clifford.

The Dr. Joanne K. Farley Award was created to honor Dr. Joanne K Farley, a 31-year member of the Saint Anselm College community. Dr. Farley represented the true nursing spirit of caring, leadership, and selfless service on the local, state, and national levels. This year's recipients exemplify those attributes inherent in the purpose of the award.

The Student Nurse Leader Award in memory of Dr. Joyce Clifford was created to recognize a student who embodies the qualities of Dr. Joyce Clifford, who was a compassionate, dedicated, visionary leader in the nursing profession. Dr. Clifford was a trustee of the College and one of the first graduates of the nursing program. She was inducted into the Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), the highest honor in nursing. She developed primary nursing at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in the 1980's, and was a true nursing leader as well as a supporter of nursing at Saint Anselm College.

The student nurses then took the Nightingale Pledge, an oath to honor and respect their patients and profession.

"We pledge to bring our best selves to work every day, to provide competent, compassionate patient care and to work alongside our teammates to provide the best care possible to our patients," De Mello said.

Following the ceremony, Abbot Matthew Leavy, O.S.B. celebrated Mass and gave the homily.

Full Remarks


Dr. Maureen O'Reilly, exective director of nursing
"You will now join the ranks of nurses who have received pins that link them to their educational institution..."

Eliana De Mello '16, student speaker
"During our time at Saint Anselm, we have been challenged in many ways to explore what nursing is and what we want to bring to our own nursing practice..."

Program: Student Remarks and Faculty Acknowledgements

Please note: three student acknowledgements were unintentionally omitted from this year's nurse pinning booklet. They are available in the online edition above or see the full text below. The college apologizes for the omission.

Brittney Taylor
"Thank you to the faculty and staff of the nursing department for inspiring us to be more than we ever thought we could, for pushing us into greatness, and for teaching us the art, and not just the science of nursing. We are all where we are today, because you showed us we could. Even after we have those two letters after our names, we'll always be the little blue ducklings with eyes of wonder and hearts eager to serve. Thank you to my professors for believing in me when I could not. Thank you to Professor Sheppard, Professor Fournier, Yemi, Sue, Joycelin and Andy for catching me when I fell and walking with me all these years. I could have never gotten to where I am today without you all. Thank you to the monastic community for your continued prayers, support, and presence. We are so blessed to have journeyed here with all of you. Thank you to my mother for your love and support. For calling me in the morning to make sure I was awake for clinical, for listening to me when the week got too stressful, and for always being there to celebrate my victories and to encourage me through my defeats. I only hope I can be half the nurse you are. Finally, thank you to my friends of past and present years. For laughing with me when I threw my back out from too many nursing books, for encouraging me through every paper and every exam, and for your unwavering support. I can't believe how lucky I am that God sent you all to be by my side. To the entire Saint Anselm community, thank you for giving us a place to forever call home. For inspiring me in faith, teaching me in love, and showing me how to be an Anselmian. I love you all."

Amanda Tiedtke
"Let all that you do be done in love." This verse from Corinthians has been and will continue to be the basis of how I hope to practice nursing. I am so incredibly blessed by the amount of love that I have received to fuel me on this journey, a journey that in a sense has ended but has also just begun. Love from my family, love from my beautiful friends, and love from God. These relationships have gently but also so powerfully woven me into the person that I am, and the person that I hope to grow to become. The amount of the appreciation and thanks that I have for those closest to me (mom and dad most especially) will always overflow. I will never be able to thank you enough, and I can only hope that you are able to hear the words of my heart that say so much more than a simple "thank you." Congratulations to each one of my lovely classmates, for all they have achieved and for everything they will continue to do when practicing this most beautiful profession. To everyone and everything that I love: I love you."

Maria Turner
"Nursing school has been the longest and shortest four years of my life. I could not have survived these perfectly chaotic years without the support of my family, friends and professors. Thank you to my parents, loved ones and the McNaughtons for providing food and shelter to a starving nursing student. Thank you to my professors for answering late night emails and being a constant source of inspiration. Thank you to my friends for suffering through lunch conversations about bodily fluids, listening to late night rants and always putting me back together. Lastly, thank you, Zack, for dealing with my stressed out mood swings, supporting my ever changing ambitions and always reminding me that I will be a great nurse. Thank you to all of these people for helping me grow into the person and nurse I am today."


Story by Liliana Kane '16

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