It is a tradition in nursing education that each college has its own unique pin that students receive upon graduation. The ECU College of Nursing pin was designed by members of the college’s first graduating class, who described it as follows. Alumni wear the pin throughout their careers in honor of all that it symbolizes.
It is based on a modified shield of trust and is taken from the East Carolina University seal. Nursing is based on trust. Curled around the bottom of the shield is a ribbon bearing the name of the [college] and the degree awarded. The shield has three points. These stand for three of the characteristics of a good nurse: love, mercy and understanding. The pin is divided into four sections, three across the top and one at the bottom. In the upper left-hand corner is the world. The globe is a never-ending circle which shows the type of service we hope to render. In the upper right-hand corner is an open book and a quill and an ink pot. The book is the Bible, the book of knowledge. The quill and the ink pot are the symbols of a learned person and of the arts. As nurses we endeavor to be learned persons who practice the art of nursing. In the center section is the caduceus with an “n,” which is the symbol for nursing, also the founding date of the [College] of Nursing. The Florence Nightingale lamp which symbolizes service and light is at the bottom. In the flame of the lamp is a ruby which represents a vibrant life. Each nurse should be a vibrant person full of energy. Across the center of the pin is the university motto “Servire,” which means to serve. We are a part of our university, and it is appropriate that we use the university motto as our goal in life. Through its symbols, the pin represents worldwide service through knowledge.