In 1880, the Bellevue Hospital Training School for Nurses in New York City became the first hospital to recognize their graduate’s transition to the certified nursing profession by awarding them a nursing pin. Tiffany & Company designed and manufactured the pin. How wonderful to be honored by a nursing pin from Tiffany! Tiffany & Co went on to design nursing pins for many other schools at the turn of the 20th century.
Could this desire to award a pin to their nurses have had something to do with Florence Nightingale, the “Lady of the Lamp”? Upon her return to England in 1855, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria awarded Miss Nightingale a beautiful pin in recognition of her service during the Crimean War. Garrard & Co, the Official Crown Jewelers, handmade the gold pin detailed with diamonds and enameled cloisonne.
The Bellevue pin portrayed a crane, representing vigilance, surrounded by a wreath of poppies, signifying the nurse’s role of allaying pain and bringing rest to the suffering. The unbroken circle of blue, with the word “Bellevue” at the bottom, represented constancy. Bellevue Training Hospital for Nurses is the first hospital in the US founded on and run by Florence Nightingale’s principles of nursing.