Like her uniform and cap, the
nurse's school pin was a symbol of professional status and a
sign of allegiance to a particular nursing school and hospital.
Upon graduation, a nurse received her diploma, graduate cap with
black band, and school pin. Some schools also provided lapel and
The Canadian Nursing History
Collection includes 234 nurses' pins, mainly from
the CNA collection, representing approximately
175 schools from every Canadian province, from the 1880s to the
1980s. Usually made of enamelled gold, engraved on the reverse
with the name or initials of the graduate and the school, pins
[e.g. graduation pins
were prized possessions. Sometimes the maker of the pin is also
indicated on the reverse.
Pins from various nursing organizations, such as the Victorian
Order of Nurses [e.g. pin
and the Canadian Nurses Association [e.g. commemorative pin
are also part of the collection.