Nursing students at the 2019 White Coat ceremony Nursing students at the 2019 White Coat ceremony

First-year Nursing Students Don White Coats

A new tradition begins at the UNM College of Nursing

On Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, Level 1 students from The University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing joined the ranks of their peers at the UNM Health Sciences Center as they traded their everyday attire for white coats. 

For health care providers, the white coat symbolizes their past studies, current commitment and future career. The College of Nursing this year adopted the practice of presenting first-year students with white coats.

“Today, you will don your first white coat in the presence of family, friends and faculty members as you embark on your nursing education,” said Christine E. Kasper, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACSM, dean of the College of Nursing, during the ceremony in UNM's Continuing Education Auditorium.

“This event allows the College of Nursing to officially welcome you into our profession. Your white coat serves as a powerful symbol of compassion combined with scientific excellence.”

The event was both joyous and motivating for the students and hundreds of supporters. 

Before the students entered the room, Student Success coaches Heidi Orehek, MSN, RN, CNE, and Sarah Patel MSN, RN, provided insight about the challenges the next few years will bring and offered advice and supportive techniques to keep their student on the path to success.

“The white coat ceremony represented my initiation into the world of nursing,” said Kyle Ric Santos, class of 2020. “It felt like I could already touch my future, full of hope and success. The support from the College of Nursing and all in attendance was overwhelming. It was a really great experience!”

Categories: College of Nursing, Community, Education

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