The tradition of nursing pins dates back as far as 170 years but is still loved today.
From as far back as the late 1800’s, Nursing Pins have been a deeply loved and honored tradition among those amazing individuals who commit to, and make it through the vigorous training required to become a Nurse practitioner in the United States. The first Nursing pins were given out at the Nightingale School of Nursing at the St Thomas Hospital in London in the 1860s. Having been awarded The Red Cross of St. George for her selfless service during the war, she chose to continue that tradition on to graduating students.
That choice to honor nurses in this way made it to the American shores and in 1880, at the Bellevue Hospital of Nursing, the entire graduating class received Nursing Pins of their own. It is said that this Nursing pin was quite lovely and symbolic, featuring a crane in the center for vigilance, encircled with a band of blue for constancy, and an outer band of red for mercy and relief of suffering. From this time forward the act of honoring graduating Nurses in this way spread and took root in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Nursing education programs, both then and today are incredibly vigorous and not for the faint of heart. Its a vocation designed for those who have a gift for service, healing and tending to those in need in a very skilled and specific way. Nursing pins commemorate this, as well as the bond and fraternity that exists among Nurses worldwide.
The earliest pins were said to be created by local fine jewelers. And the designs, like they are today, are meant to depict school affiliation, year of graduation, and the motto of the school and program. Some graduating classes even get a personalized Nursing pin with their name or initials on it. As you can imagine, an array of colors, symbols, and styles are available to sue in the designing of a Nursing pin, and all of the ones that we have made here at The Monterey Company are simply exquisite and teeming with elegance.
The shapes of Nursing pins vary of course, and there is no one way or even a traditional way to make them. The only constant is some sign of what school the honored graduating nurse is from and what the year of graduation was. No matter what manner the Nursing pin is designed in, the one thing that is clear is that these custom lapel pins are really more of a badge of honor than anything else. An acknowledgment of the grueling, time and labor intensive preparation each Nurse has had to go through to reach the completion of their training. For their tireless work and constant care of all of us in our time of need, we thank them and honor their achievement and dedication.