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Zoie Hetletvedt receives her nursing pin from College of Nursing dean Dr. Netha Dyck.

Zoie Hetletvedt receives her nursing pin from College of Nursing dean Dr. Netha Dyck.

Dedicated new nurses welcomed at pinning ceremony

February 14, 2024 — 

The College of Nursing welcomed 82 new nurses to the profession at a pinning ceremony at the Pinnacle Club on Feb. 9. The graduands were part of a voluntary accelerated program, continuing their studies through Summer 2023, to complete their degrees and enter the profession earlier than originally anticipated.

The accelerated program was introduced alongside the start of a new summer cohort last year. The bachelor of nursing program is now delivered across three terms per year, instead of two, a result of provincial government funding to address Manitoba’s nursing shortage.

At the ceremony, the new graduands received their nursing pin and recited the UM Bachelor of Nursing Pledge, which was inspired by the 1893 Florence Nightingale Pledge and has been adapted by the university. The graduands will receive their degrees at the next UM convocation in June.

“The pin you receive this afternoon marks your entrance into the profession of nursing,” said College of Nursing dean Dr. Netha Dyck, who hosted the ceremony. “We are delighted to commemorate this significant achievement with you.”

Brenda Longclaws, Knowledge Keeper in Residence at the College of Nursing, offered an opening greeting. She noted importance of the ceremony, calling it “meaningful and sacred,” while also discussing the medicine chest, which has come to symbolize universal health care for Indigenous people in Canada.

“I want to thank you graduates for the care that you will be giving to my people and all Manitobans,” Longclaws said.

The ceremony included greetings from the Honourable Renée Cable, Minister of Advanced Education and Training, Dr. Peter Nickerson, dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Michael Benarroch, UM President and Vice-Chancellor, Joyce Kristjansson, executive director of the Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, and Danielle Yaffe, eight-time recipient of the Nursing Students’ Association’s teaching excellence award.

Benarroch praised the students for their hard work in the compressed schedule and thanked the college’s faculty and staff for adjusting the timeframe.

“From what I understand, there were more students that wanted to join that summer class than there were spaces available, and I think that shows the dedication of these students right here, knowing that they’ve committed their time to what we need here in Manitoba,” he said.

Anna Tan poses with her nursing pin.

Anna Tan

Students said the accelerated program was challenging but that they’re looking forward to beginning their careers.

“I am excited to finally be on my own in nursing and to use my clinical judgement skills that I have been working so hard to develop,” said Zoie Hetletvedt.

Hetletvedt was born in Minneapolis and moved to Winnipeg to attend UM when she was 18. She did her senior practicum at Health Sciences Centre in child and adolescent mental health.

“In the immediate future I plan to work in Manitoba, and I’m interested in working in mental health. I might consider getting a nurse practitioner degree in the future, once I’m more established,” she said.

Anna Tan was born in China but has lived in Winnipeg since she was in elementary school. She looks forward to her nursing career and helping with the province’s nursing shortage.  She praised the faculty for its support in the challenging program.

“There were definitely ups and downs, but I was very fortunate to have supportive teachers. When I was struggling they helped to identify barriers and pair me up with resources that could help me get through to where I am today,” Tan said.

Mary Fasina poses with her nursing pin alongside College of Nursing dean Dr. Netha Dyck.

Mary Fasina receives her nursing pin College of Nursing dean Dr. Netha Dyck.

Mary Fasina said another challenge was starting the program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It wasn’t easy taking classes online,” she said.

Fasina was born in Nigeria and became a Canadian citizen six years ago. She has a position lined up to work in emergency care at Grace Hospital and she plans to explore other areas of nursing in the future.

“My mom was a surgery and operating room nurse back home and I always found it fascinating whenever I got to follow her to work, which is why I chose nursing as a career.”

Watch a social media video of highlights from the pinning ceremony.

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