New nursing program to hold pinning ceremony Aug. 7 for first graduates

Kathryn Tart

Those pins represent a year of hard work, dedication and change.

Graduates of the Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing will take part in the degree’s first pinning ceremony on Aug. 7 in Sugar Land.

“These new nurses are all people with bachelor’s degrees in other fields who decided to move into a rewarding career in nursing,” said Kathryn Tart, founding dean of the School of Nursing.

During the ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. in the new Brazos Building, 14004 University Blvd. at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, students will receive a pin as part of a long nursing tradition.

Also during the event, students will hear from keynote speaker Katherine Thomas, executive director of the Texas Board of Nursing.

Katherine Thomas

“We are very honored to have Ms. Thomas join us as the Texas Board of Nursing celebrates 100 years of service,” Tart said.

The pin the students receive signifies the nursing program from which a nurse graduated. Each nursing school has its own unique pin. The tradition can be traced back to when Florence Nightingale placed the Maltese Cross, used by the medical caregivers of the Knights Hospitallers since the Crusades, on the lapels of her nursing school graduates in the late 1800s.

The UHV School of Nursing pin presented to the nurses in the ceremony will stay with them for the rest of their professional careers to let patients know their caregivers are part of a higher order of nurses, Tart said. The pin also serves to remind the nurses of all they went through to reach that honored position in healthcare.

Thomas has served as executive director of the Texas Board of Nursing since 1995. Prior to her current post, she served the board as director of nursing practice and an education consultant.She is a former nursing instructor and assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a 10-year veteran of private practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Since 2000, she has served as chair of the Health Professions Council, a group of agencies that regulate healthcare professions in Texas, and on numerous other state and national nursing boards and committees.

She has received two of the top honors awarded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing: the R. Louise McManus Award for significant contributions through the highest commitment and dedication in 2002, and the Meritorious Service Award for significant contributions to the purposes of the NCSBN in 1999.

She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

For more information about the pinning ceremony, 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.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342