Oklahoma State University

04/13/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/13/2024 11:33

Inaugural White Coat Ceremony celebrates OSU nursing students

Inaugural White Coat Ceremony celebrates OSU nursing students

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Media Contact: Christy Lang | Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-9740 | [email protected]

Twenty-six OSU students commemorated the start of their professional nursing education at the university's inaugural White Coat Ceremony.

The ceremony, held on April 3 in the Great Hall of the Nancy Randolph Davis Building, marked a significant milestone for the students and the nursing program at OSU. The program, developed to address a nursing shortage in Oklahoma and across the country, welcomed its first class of professional nursing students in the fall of 2023. In remarks given during the ceremony, Nursing Program Director Dr. Alana Cluck said the ceremony was meaningful to both the nursing students and OSU.

"This official White Coat Ceremony symbolizes the start of your education in the science and art of nursing," Cluck said. "When you put on your white coat, wear it with pride as you are not only representing Oklahoma State University but furthermore the nursing profession."

Although the nursing degree program is still in its first year at OSU, Cluck said she expects the 26 students recognized to be the first of many OSU-educated nurses. Eighty-six students are enrolled in the program for the fall 2024 semester, and Cluck expects the program to grow to 300 students by its third year.

Students pursuing a nursing degree must complete an additional application and pass prerequisite courses and take an exam. Cluck said the process will ensure admitted students are more likely to complete the program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination, which is required to become a licensed nurse.

Once admitted, students spend their final two years in the professional program at OSU studying and gaining hands-on experience. The program is rigorous, and by graduation, professional nursing students will have gone through two years of in-lab simulations and clinical rotations focused on critical care, medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, community and leadership.

"They spend time in the lab learning and practicing skills, as well as working through simulation patient care scenarios with manikins and virtual reality," Cluck said. "Clinical rotations include long-term care facilities and hospital settings."

For students, the White Coat Ceremony represented the beginning of their health care education. However, Cluck noted that the students' new white coats carried on a decades-old tradition in the medical field and symbolized knowledge, professionalism and hope.

"These coats are worn by a multitude of medical providers as a classic symbol of medical knowledge," Cluck said. "It's as if to automatically say to a patient, 'I am here to help.'"

Learn more about Oklahoma State University's Bachelor of Science in Nursing at https://okla.st/BSN

Story By: Jessica Pearce | [email protected]