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White Coat Ceremony marks first professional milestone for nursing students

Sophomore nursing students ceremoniously enter the health care profession.

Faculty from TCNJ’s School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science presented white lab coats to 61 sophomore nursing students during the school’s fourth annual White Coat Ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

A rite of passage that formally welcomes students into the nursing profession, the White Coat Ceremony is a long-standing tradition in health-related fields. It emphasizes a commitment to comprehensive, patient-centered care among future nursing professionals.

The students received the coats in advance of their first clinical rotations, which will begin in the spring semester. “These clinical rotations will transform you from students of nursing into nurses,” said Carole Kenner, dean of the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science. “This is your first professional adventure.”

Daniel Suarez ’18, president of TCNJ’s Student Nurses Association, reminded the group of the opportunities they will have to positively impact people’s lives. “Those moments are worth all the hours of studying and stress,” he said. “We’re all in this together; let’s stick by each other and lift each other up.”

“As a person getting older, I can’t wait to have you in the field!” said TCNJ President Kathryn A. Foster, congratulating the group on their milestone moment.

The white coat ceremony was made possible by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, in collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, along with generous support from the TCNJ Alumni Association.

Emily W. Dodd ’03