The University of Central Arkansas held the White Coat Ceremony on Sept. 30, giving nursing students their coats and words of encouragement.
Undergraduate Program Coordinator Dr. Julie Meaux took the podium first and said that the White Coat Ceremony is becoming a tradition at UCA, and that it is a transition for students from their pre-
professional careers to their professional careers.
“Getting into nursing school is a huge accomplishment,” Nursing Students Association President Kinsey Bowden said.
Bowden mentioned a student complaining about having to pass trays all day and that the student said he didn’t sign up to do such remedial tasks.
Bowden said that passing trays and moving a pillow 27 times for a patient are things that every nurse has to do and that not everything will seem like a big deal.
“Even though you have to endure this for a moment, this [patient]can’t get away from it,” Bowden said. “You’re not only here to do the rest of it, but also to pass trays.”
Bowden said patient care is a team sport and that nurses care for people in their most vulnerable times.
“You’re part of the team now, and I hope you enjoy every moment of it,” she said.
Director of the School of Nursing Dr. Susan Gatto was next, and talked about continuing the tradition of
She said a nurse once risked her job to make sure she got help.
“She was my hero. You will be a hero for someone else,” she said.
Gatto said that just like Olympic athletes, nurses have to practice over and over again.
She said it’s not about the nurses, but about the patients and their families.
Gatto said nursing students must stay focused. She said a
birthing mother doesn’t care what grade someone makes.
“Keep the patients and family as the primary focus,” she said. “Keeping someone alive is easy. Helping someone
live is hard.”
Registered Nurse Kaitlin Montgomery took the podium next.
She started with a quote from Pope Paul VI.
“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block
in the person we are today,” she said, quoting the pope.
Montgomery said nursing is harder than any other major. She said it is important to make time for yourself.
“If a friend asks you out to lunch, go have lunch. You have to eat anyway,” she said.
However, she said that sacrifices have to be made, such as not getting as much sleep or not going out to party.
Dr. Laura Hall, Laura Gillis and Annette Gartman then took to the stage to present the students with their coats and lapel pins.