Academics Beat

Nursing Students Receive White Coats, Move Toward Clinicals

Nursing faculty and staff encouraged, celebrated and cloaked nursing students at University of Central Arkansas’ first White Coat Ceremony 9 am Sept. 10 in the Reynolds Performance Hall.

Friends and Family gathered to watch UCA’s nursing students receive their white coats.

Before students received their coats, undergraduate program coordinator Julie Meaux, Nursing Student Association president Caitlin Sullivan, nursing school director Susan Gatto and adjunct clinical instructor, Sean Bird, gave speeches encouraging and enlightening nursing students.

Meaux was the first to speak introducing the event as UCA’s first White Coat Ceremony funded by the Arnold P. Gold Scholarship.

She said the ceremony is to introduce preclinical nursing students to their clinical practice.

Sullivan was the second speaker. She encouraged family and friends to support nursing students as they go through school and ensure they are living a balanced life.

She also said students should join the Nursing Student Association, which holds monthly meetings and fundraisers for both themselves and other causes, to become more well-rounded nurses and to get out of their  “me, me me” set of mind.

The third to speaker was Gatto who advised students using her personal experience in the field.

“I came to realize there was more to my job than to keep people alive,” Gatto said. “That is the easy part, but keeping in mind that they have lives, that is the hard part.”

Bird spoke last and gave students tips on being a good nurse.

“Class of 2019, Congratulations,” Bird said.” “Stay strong, stay true, work hard, be humble, listen and join the Nursing Student Association. These things will take you farther than knowing all the answers ever will.”

When the speeches ended, the cloaking ceremony began with a formal calling of names prompting students one by one to walk to the middle of the stage to be cloaked in their white coats and pinned.

People of UCA: Jay Whitaker

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