Photo: Nicolas Morin
Photo: Nicolas Morin

On Friday, September 30, students from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine’s Ingram School of Nursing, received their McGill name tag pins during a ceremony which debuted last year as a means to reaffirm the commitment of the School’s faculty and students to the nursing profession and to the personal and collective roles that each plays in maintaining the highest standards in fulfilling their social contract with society.

Dr. Anita Gagnon, Associate Dean and Director of the Ingram School of Nursing, served as the event’s master of ceremonies, welcoming the 127 first year Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, the 129 second year Bachelor of Nursing Integrated students and the 23 qualifying year students of the only direct-entry to practice program of its kind in Canada. “What a difference you can and will make to our health care system,” Gagnon told the audience. “With this pin you will be recognized as a McGill nursing student and representative and carry with you all of the expectations that go with these professional roles.”

“This is where you will take what you have learned and put it into practice,” said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill. “As you evolve in your skills you will be learning a lot about yourself as well. When you are working as a nurse you will have to be many things. You will be an expert in the area of person care you are working in but you will also have to be a communicator, a collaborator, an advocate for your patients’ health, a scholar, a professional, a negotiator, and especially as a nurse, often the glue that binds many people together. When someone sees your nametag they will know they are with someone they can fully trust, someone who has their best interests at heart. You have what it takes to reach the highest heights in nursing professionalism.”

Richard Ingram, President and Secretary of the Newton Foundation, and the School’s namesake, implored students to never stop thinking. Citing the example of Jan Lariviere, a nurse at the Montreal Children’s Hospital whose curiosity led to a heralded study on the impact of mothers reading to babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit, Ingram stressed that, “while almost 100% of research funding is directed to PhDs and their grad students, the great bulk of advancement arises from the observation of millions of nurses working in clinical and community settings.  I hope this example will inspire you throughout your career to doggedly pursue your insights. At the end of your career some of your most treasured memories will be rooted in situations where you advanced the science of nursing.”

Dr. Franco Carnevale, Professor and Associate Director for research at the Ingram School of Nursing was the Keynote speaker and  began his talk by thanking Richard Ingram, for not only being a donor, but for being a steadfast champion for the School and for the nursing profession. Dr. Carnevale shared with the students his thoughts on what it meant to be a nurse. “Today we will pin you with your McGill Nursing pin to show our trust in you,” he noted. “With this pin, the persons you encounter – patients, clients, families, licensed nurses and other professionals – will know that you have our trust. This trust should never be taken for granted or abused.” To emphasize the trust given to nurses in society, he cited annual surveys by Gallup which ask Americans to rate professions based on honesty and ethics, in which  nurses have topped the list each year except for 2001, when firefighters were number one in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.

Students received their name tags individually by their respective Program Directors before joining together to recite a pledge to the nursing profession and to professionalism that was written by faculty members and students from the School.

October 7, 2016