Fairmont State University honored students in the College of Nursing during its traditional White Coat Ceremony on Monday, March 28.
The white coat marks a student’s transition from pre-nursing to entrance into clinical nursing practice, or for RNs who are continuing their education. During the ceremony, the white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders by nursing faculty and concludes with the recitation of the Nurses Pledge.
Fairmont State University College of Nursing Dean, Laura Clayton, described the White Coat Ceremony as a symbol of the transition into clinical practice and providing compassionate care.
“The White Coat Ceremony is designed as a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate, patient-centered care at the beginning of your nursing education journey,” Clayton said. “Nursing School will prepare you to become highly competent and skilled compassionate, caring nurses, who are equipped to serve as leaders, problem solvers, critical thinkers, educators, advocates and direct care providers.”
Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin, addressed the students during the ceremony, noting that nurses are the lynchpin of the clinical setting and the ceremony creates a ritual to accentuate the important rite of passage from student to nursing professional.
“Today, in many ways, marks the beginning of the journey you have chosen,” Martin said. “Through this journey you will begin to understand the true role of the nurse because of the caring, knowledgeable and nurturing oversight from our dedicated faculty.”
Mon Health System Chief Nursing Executive, Krystal Atkinson, also provided a message for students, encouraging them to ask questions while relying on guidance from instructors throughout their journeys to become professional nurses.
“There’s nothing that you can’t ask that hasn’t been thought of before. We are here to support you,” Atkinson said. “On behalf of Mon Health System, we look forward to growing with you and we look forward to seeing you in the hospitals.”
In addition to receiving their white coats, several students received acceptance into the Mon Scholar program during the spring semester. The Mon Scholar program provides West Virginia nursing students academic scholarships and financial support, with a promise of employment with Mon Health System upon graduation.
To learn more about the Fairmont State University College of Nursing, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/collegeofnursing.