UHV School of Nursing to honor graduates at pinning ceremony

Kathryn Tart

The University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing will celebrate the accomplishments of 30 graduates Saturday afternoon during a special pinning ceremony.

Graduates will receive a nursing pin and hear from speaker Mary Virginia Jacobs, an accomplished advocate for nursing higher education.

“Pinning ceremonies are a tradition at schools of nursing and represent a rite of passage,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing.

The pinning ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane, following UHV’s afternoon spring commencement ceremony for nursing and business students. There are 18 Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing candidates for graduation and a dozen Master of Science in Nursing candidates for graduation.

UHV also will have a morning commencement ceremony for the schools of Arts & Sciences and Education & Human Development.

The pin presented to the nurses during the School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony will stay on their lapels for the rest of their professional careers to let patients know the nurses are well-educated to care for them. The pin also serves to remind the nurses of all they went through to reach the honored position in nursing they hold.

The pin itself signifies the nursing program from which a nurse graduated. Each nursing school has its own unique pin.

Mary Virginia Jacobs

Jacobs said she always enjoys pinning ceremonies, and she’s excited to offer words of encouragement to the graduates. She will talk about how education is crucial to better nursing practices. Patients can tell the difference between hospitals that hire nurses of various educational levels and ones that only hire nurses with advance degrees.

“The best example of why education is significant is how nurses with additional education have a greater tendency to apply evidence-based nursing care,” Jacobs said.

Her advice to the graduates is to go back to the research when questions arise.

“Don’t just take people’s word for it,” she said. “Base your answer on research for the situation.”

Jacobs earned a bachelor’s in nursing from Incarnate Word College and then worked as a school nurse in Yoakum. She later returned to school and completed a certificate course as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She became nationally certified as both a School Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. She also earned a master’s in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jacobs served two terms on the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners, where she worked to promote higher education for nurse practitioners. She was president of the board for three years.

Now retired, Jacobs devotes time volunteering at several organizations.

“We are honored to have Mrs. Jacobs join us to celebrate the difference our graduates make with quality nursing care and leadership,” Tart said. “She has had a very distinguished career in nursing and nursing leadership.”

For more information about UHV nursing programs, contact Tammy Neeley Whatley at 361-570-4297 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro