A nursing student answers questions about what her White Coat Ceremony was like.
Program: Accelerated BSN (Sioux Falls site)
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
The White Coat welcomes nursing students to the beginning of their professional career and the first semester in the professional nursing major. During the first semester of the nursing major, students begin to provide care to patients. Nurses are privileged to participate in many intimate moments in patients’ lives. This privilege brings new levels of responsibility for the nursing student. The White Coat is symbolic of the professional standards that will be upheld by the nursing student. As the nursing student is cloaked in the White Coat, he or she is welcomed to the larger nursing community and profession of nursing.
When does the White Coat Ceremony take place?
The College of Nursing White Coat Ceremony at South Dakota State University occurs early in the student’s first semester in the professional nursing program. It is held that semester to emphasize the change from student to professional nurse. It is at that point that patient care really begins. Ceremonies are held in Aberdeen, Brookings, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.
What was the atmosphere like at the White Coat Ceremony? Are families invited?
You could tell that the faculty and attendees were elated and proud. The students were ecstatic for the ceremony and for the opportunity to see their guests who traveled near and far to see this event. Students could invite family or friends.
What happens at the White Coat Ceremony?
The ceremony started with a welcoming address by the Assistant Dean, Dr. Horsley, and a keynote address by Instructor and Simulation Site Coordinator, Alyssa Zweifel. The rest of the ceremony consisted of the Presentation of Coats. the recitation of the Professional Nursing Pledge and closing statements. Lastly, there was a reception outside of the hall for students, guests and faculty.
What does the White Coat symbolize to you?
The white coat represents the beginning of a long, life journey. It is the potential and responsibility we have to grow professionally and personally during that journey. The coat also symbolizes our joining the family of SDSU nursing and our futures together in healthcare.
Do you have any tips or advice about the ceremony?
Pay attention because everything said will guide you through the nursing program and into your career as an accomplished professional. Also, students should watch their step when receiving their revered coats. Their families, friends, and teachers are all watching closely.