Nursing Students Celebrate Historic White Coat Ceremony
Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2011 [11:58 PM]
Members of the first LWC nursing class and
nursing faculty gather in W.W. Slider
Humanities Center Recital Hall.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A group of Lindsey Wilson
College students made history on Saturday afternoon as they
participated in the first white coat ceremony in college
The 22 students who comprise the college's first nursing class
will not receive their bachelor of science degree in nursing until
May 2013. Saturday afternoon's ceremony, however, was a significant
step in their educational journey because it symbolized that they
are nearing the midway point of their undergraduate nursing
"Today marks the beginning of our journey into professionalism,"
said LWC nursing student Shannon Mester of Greensburg, Ky.
Each of the 19 students who participated in Saturday's ceremony
was presented a white lab coat with their names embroidered above
the left breast pocket. Dr. Phil Aaron of Aaron Medical Center purchased the coats for
"Dr. Aaron and I -- in addition to the community -- have
for years wished and prayed for a nursing program here, and we are
ecstatically happy that it is available to us," Diane Theiry, a
nurse practitioner with Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville,
Ky., said during the ceremony.
Theiry added that Taylor Regional Hospital looks forward to
working with the LWC nursing students.
In his keynote address, Aaron told the students "you're on
the threshold of having great opportunities."
"This represents a new beginning, you are becoming part of
the health profession," Aaron said.
Aaron told the students that substantively, their white
coats will shield them from blood, vomit and other liquids they
will encounter while serving patients.
But Aaron said the white coats also carry deep symbolic
significance -- representing authority, expertise and comfort to
those they will serve one day as nurses.
"Your white coat symbolically gives you authority. … Once
you put this white coat on, you have authority," he said.
Aaron encouraged the students to decorate their coats with
pins that are embedded with significance to them. For example, his
white coat includes two pins: an angel, which serves as a reminded
about one of his former patients; and a facsimile of a pink ribbon,
which symbolizes his efforts to fight breast cancer.
Although the students will not receive a bachelor of
science degree in nursing for more than two years, several of the
students said they are already counting down the days until they
become licensed nurse.
"It is a great honor to be a part of this program, and I
look forward to joining the professional community one day," said
Phillip Neikirk of Science Hill, Ky.
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