Eastern Mennonite University’s nursing program hosted a white coat ceremony for its new class of nursing students Sunday, Sept. 8, in Martin Chapel. Students participate in this ceremony at the beginning of their first semester in the clinical level of the nursing program.
Speakers included department chair Melody M. Cash, PhD, and undergraduate nursing program director Laura A.G. Yoder, PhD. Both are also registered nurses. Luella M.K. Glanzer ’06, a critical care registered nurse, provided the keynote address.
The class of 2019 includes Kassidy Arsenault, Marina Baker, Abby Byler, Kayla Campbell, Asenie Daniel, Danielle Davidson, Esther Ghale, Anna Gibbs, Rediet Girma, Amber Gonzalez, Joleah Hamilton, Lauren Harris, Nicole Kettle, Kaitlyn Klager, Haley Kuehle, Anne Liskey, Audrey Martin, Maria Martinez, Kayla Matthias, Mackenzie McBride, Emma Millar, DeEbra Morris, Rachel Morris, Haley Nauman, Sonya Peters, Kayla Sauder, Katlyn Shelton, Alyssa Shenk and Seth Suttles.
EMU’s nursing program held its first white coat ceremony in September 2016 with a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The foundation partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to offer these ceremonies at schools of nursing. EMU was one of 50 schools selected to receive the grant in 2016.
The white coat ceremony is a rite of passage for students entering clinical training in various healthcare fields. The tradition started at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993 and has since spread worldwide.
Each ceremony includes the sharing of the Hippocratic Oath or a similarly worded pledge specific to each profession and program: At EMU, the pledge includes acknowledgement and understanding of EMU’s Sacred Covenant model for nursing.
Before 1993, students only took this oath upon graduation. By taking the oath before clinical healthcare training begins, students — and the community that supports them — formally acknowledge their entry into the service of new professional responsibilities and ethical concerns.