On Tuesday, October 1st, the Fetterman School of Nursing held its third annual Coating Ceremony. This ceremony is a milestone in the life of a junior nursing student because it signals the beginning of the clinical component of their nursing education.  These students are transitioning from a solely classroom/lab-based studies to a combination of classroom and clinical experiences.  These clinical experiences are represented by the white coat, Nightingale lamp, and Nightingale oath, all significant elements in nursing practice.

The white coat conveys a powerful message that engenders trust in the competencies and intentions of those who wear it. By accepting the white coat, the students are making a commitment to practice nursing with a sense of duty, treating the sick with compassion and selflessly serving the needs of patients who have placed their trust in them.

Over 150 family members, friends, and guests were part of the festivities at TFC’s Grace Chapel and Performing Arts Theater. President, Dr. Bob Myers welcomed guests and congratulated the students for their dedication and lifetime commitment to service. The evening’s keynote address was delivered by Faye Taylor, Director of Nursing at Stephens County Hospital.

Dean Deborah Alvater addressed students on the uniqueness of their white coat, which symbolizes the responsibility that they, as a TFC nursing student, accept in providing compassionate Christian nursing care.  Wearing the white coat is a symbol of the promise that each student has made to every patient they encounter, to model Christ’s spiritual posture of caring.  The nursing faculty presented the twenty-four nursing students with their white coat and Nightingale Lamp.  The ceremony concluded with the student recitation of the Nightingale oath, a solemn pledge “before God in the presence of this assembly to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.”

The Nightingale Lamp symbolizes a lit lamp used by Florence Nightingale while caring for injured soldiers during the Crimean war.  Florence Nightingale was the first nurse who integrated the spirituality in nursing with the practice of nursing.  She spent every waking moment caring for those soldiers, and each night would round carrying a lamp through the dark hallways.  The soldiers were so moved by her compassion that they referred to her as ‘The Lady of the Lamp.’

Following the coating ceremony, closing remarks and benediction were provided by Dr. Kieran Clements, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Nursing students receiving their white coats included Luke Daniel Baham, Devon Joy Burns, Elizabeth Paige Blackmon, Haley Nicole Clymer, Jessica Lauren Conley, Scott Wayne Crabtree, Samantha Lynn Fundell, Karlie Faith Gooch, Kimberly Beth Gordon, Dallas Kenneth Huston, Ariel Caitlin Jackson, Xander Cade Jordan, Elizabeth Belle Lanford, Selby Paige McMahan, Matthew Thomas Moon, Carley Allene Payne, Chante Naomi Smith, Jessica Erin Sublett, Emma Rose Taylor, Natalie Claire Thompson, Brooke Veronica Watson, Ashley Taylor Whiten, Grace Michelle Windsor, and Kaolee Yang.