AIC Nurse Pinning Set for May 17; 71 Students to Be Honored

SPRINGFIELD — American International College will recognize 71 nursing students at its annual Nurses Pinning Ceremony on May 17. The students will receive their pins during a candlelight ceremony at the Springfield Sheraton from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The students represent the largest graduating Nursing class in school history.

AIC nursing professor Beth George said the ceremony had to be moved to the Sheraton to accommodate the large class. Following the pinning ceremony, the students will receive their diplomas during commencement at the MassMutual Center at 3 p.m.

AIC became the first area private college to offer a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1977, and is now one of only three colleges in the Western Mass. area to offer a graduate Nursing program.

The pinning ceremony signifies the successful completion of the four-year baccalaureate program. Friends and family members will pin each student during the ceremony, which will also feature a video history of the students’ college experience.

Carol Picard, a past president of Sigma Theta Tau International and professor at UMass Amherst, will deliver the keynote speech at the pinning ceremony.

A past president of the International Association for Human Caring, Picard has presented papers and keynote addresses both nationally and internationally on excellence in nursing as evidence-based, theory-guided reflective practice. In more than 250 presentations and 46 publications, she addresses issues of leadership, caring, and restorative and creative practices to support nursing.

Picard is the recipient of the first Alumni Achievement Award given by Fitchburg State College, and was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Epsilon Beta Chapter, as well as the Mentor Award. In 2006 she was honored with the Clara Barton Humanitarian Award from Emmanuel College. In 2008, she was awarded the Living Legend Award from the Mass. Registered Nurses Assoc.