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Nursing graduate receives ceremonial pin from her mentor

Eleni Georgitsos (left) and Cassandra Thomas (right)

The “pinning” ceremony is a special event for every nurse.  It’s a time to celebrate a nursing student’s accomplishments and to officially mark their transition into the profession.

Pinning is a tradition that may date back to the 12th century, but was popularized in the 1800s by Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, when she presented medals of excellence to graduates of her nursing school.

Pin awarded to nurse graduates
Graduates of the Nursing Program at the University of Ottawa receive this pin, marking their official transition into the nursing profession.

And to receive the pin from a mentor is extra special.

Cassandra Thomas was a consolidation student from The University of Ottawa in the Surgical Day Care Unit at the Riverside campus of The Ottawa Hospital, and it didn’t take long for her to make an impression.

“Cassandra was particularly outstanding in that her knowledge, skill and motivation were clearly evident from the day she started until the very last day of her consolidation,” said Heidi Easey-Dannehl, Nurse Educator at The Ottawa Hospital. “She instantly impressed our staff and built meaningful professional relationships within our entire surgical area.”

Cassandra also felt a special connection with one colleague in particular.

“Every so often, there is a perfect alignment between a mentor’s teaching approach and a student’s learning style,” explains Heidi. “This was definitely the case between Eleni Georgitsos, a fellow nurse in the Surgical Day Care Unit and Cassandra. Eleni’s calm, kind and competent nature was just what Cassandra needed to thrive in the Surgical Day Care environment.  Whether the pair were in a teaching moment or helping one another on the unit, they were always laughing and smiling together.  Their personal and professional connection was evident and brought light and positivity to the entire unit.”

Eleni Georgitsos (left) placing the nursing pin on Cassandra Thomas (right) on stage at the graduation ceremony
Eleni Georgitsos was honoured to be the one to place the ceremonial pin on her colleague and recent graduate, Cassandra.

So when the time came for the pinning ceremony, Cassandra asked Eleni to ‘pin’ her.  Eleni was of course honoured to accept.

“It was an honour to have shared this special moment with Cassandra,” explains Eleni. “Being a mentor and being able to attend Cassandra’s pinning ceremony is something that I will always cherish.”

Congratulations, Cassandra, and congratulations to all the nurse graduates!


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