Nebraska Methodist College baccalaureate nursing students took part in the Edna Fagan Pledging Ceremony today at St. Andrew United Methodist Church.
What is Pledging?
Historically capping has been a traditional ceremony in nursing programs. The nurse's cap was a distinctive means of identifying with a particular school and a way of distinguishing nurses from other care givers and professionals. The need to wear a cap originated from a time when all women wore caps indoors for the functional purpose of covering their hair.
A century of nursing has seen profound changes in the nursing profession as well as in the nurse's cap and uniform. Today, the cap is seldom visible in the wide variety of settings in which professional nurses practice. Professional nurses, male and female, can be identified by their nursing pins which signify their institution of learning.
The Nebraska Methodist logo surrounded by laurel leaves is clearly visible on the pin given to nursing students. The laurel leaves encircling the emblem are reminiscent of the Grecian heroes and symbolic of their public acclaim. The dove signifies the spirit of caring while the heart symbolizes the heart of healthcare.
Pledging is a time of public acclamation and affirmation whereby the student shows the selection of nursing as a career choice at Nebraska Methodist College.
Honoring a Legend
In 1943, Ms. Edna Fagan became the Methodist School of Nursing's single instructor, responsible for attending lectures given by physicians and then conveying the pertinent information to students. By 1946 she became the Supervisor of Nursing. This position was a dual appointment as she supervised nurses at the hospital and directed the school of nursing. She held this dual role until her retirement on December 31, 1979.
Under Ms. Fagan's leadership Methodist School of Nursing was among the first in Nebraska to become accredited by the National League for Nursing. The school had one of the best innovative nursing curriculum in the country and by her retirement the school had a record number of students enrolled at 340. In 1981, Ms. Fagan was named Nurse of the Year, the highest honor given by the National League for Nursing.
At Nebraska Methodist College, we honor her through the pledging ceremony and student scholarships. For 44 years, Ms. Edna Fagan generously gave her time, talents and treasures to ensure excellent patient care at Methodist Hospital and to establish a strong Nebraska Methodist College - we are grateful for and honor her contributions.