Nursing students begin clinical rotations after receiving their white coats

Nursing students lined up with their white coats before the ceremony. Photo Courtesy of Monica Mullins

By Vivian Kwok | Reporter

Faculty members of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing donned another class of nursing students with their white coat on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Dallas.

Dallas senior Amanda Jones said that the white coat ceremony is an extremely important event for a nursing student. In addition to getting their white coat, Jones said students receive a nursing student pin, which is placed on the right lapel and also recite the nursing pledge.

“It is symbolic of one’s readiness to go out into hospitals and take care of patients during clinical rotations,” Jones said. “And it is a wonderful time for family and friends to come and celebrate in beginning this new stage of schooling.”

Director of Student Services Monica Mullins said the first semester nursing majors, or J1s, Level 1s, must successfully complete courses that include skills check offs that they must perform as a nurse.

“They did this last week and received their coats today in anticipation of beginning their clinical course in the hospital,” Mullins said.

Jones said she is almost done with her clinical rotations as a last semester nursing student, pursuing placement in a Newborn or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). However, she can still recall her own white coat ceremony.

“I remember when I received my white coat nearly two years ago. I felt both nervous and excited,” Jones said. “It all became real once my professor donned the coat on me.”

Jones said she had no idea what to expect for clinical rotations even after spending the first half of nursing school learning basic lab skills and understanding concepts in lectures.

“I was both very excited and very nervous to get to go out into the hospitals and care for patients,” Jones said. “But I knew that I was ready for this next step.”

Cypress junior Krissy Sibal is one of the J1 nursing student’s received their white coat Wednesday.

“It feels as if I have accomplished the beginning steps into becoming a full blown nurse,” Sibal said. “It means that despite the hard work and late nights, the fulfillment I’ll feel after applying the skills that I have learned in class will make everything worth it. And to earn my white coat is a symbol of how I will be able to serve patients in the hospital with all my strength.”

The courses that separate nursing students from their white coat are not easy. However, Sibal said the sweat, tears and hard work that was exerted to reach her white coat made it all the more special.

“I had had a difficult couple of months before the ceremony, and I had to learn to put all of my trust in Christ,” Sibal said. “And to receive my white coat after all the trials made the verse Isaiah 41:10 all the more important and meaningful to me.”

Sibal said the most memorable part of her nursing experience would be the relationships she developed with her classmates, faculty and staff.

“I have heard many students talk about how the faculty and staff would all be extremely supportive and that has been the truest thing by far,” Sibal said. “The amount of love I felt from my professors and the friends I have made would be something I’ll carry with me as I get older.”

Mullins said she loves witnessing the eagerness and excitement their students have for beginning their experience in nursing school.

“They have been anticipating this not only this semester, but since they decided to pursue a career in nursing. For some that has been years. I love that we celebrate this first step into their profession,” Mullins said.