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Catawba nursing students have white coat ceremony

Catawba College

SALISBURY — Catawba College’s Department of Nursing formally welcomed members of its class of 2020 into the nursing program during a White Coat Ceremony held Friday, Sept. 28, in Peeler Crystal Lounge on campus. As families and friends looked on, members of the class of 2020 who are entering the upper division of the program received their white coats, and stood alongside their senior nursing peers in the class of 2019 to recite the department’s “Commitment to Compassionate Care” oath.

Assistant professor of Nursing Sandra Yamane, spoke at the ceremony, welcoming the students as they “begin the process of formation as a nurse.” She told them their coursework and clinicals were not only “about knowing and doing, but ultimately about becoming” a nurse. She encouraged the students to “develop your personal art of nursing” and reminded them that nurses are present “at the beginning, middle and end of life.” She also admonished the students to “lead with your head and heart.”

Dr. Valerie Rakes, chair of the department of nursing, noted that this inaugural white coat ceremony was a new tradition at Catawba and said it was synonymous with the compassionate care ceremony.

“The ceremony is the student’s introduction to the professional, moral, and ethical responsibilities that nurses have towards their patients,” Rakes said. “The commitment to compassionate care oath represents the beginning chapter in the life of nursing students. The ending chapter is graduation, including the baccalaureate nursing pin ceremony. Compassion is the core value in nursing. Compassion cannot be taught; however, is the greatest quality of an excellent nurse.”

The nine nursing students in the class of 2020 who participated in the white coat ceremony included Madison J. Bell of New Port Richey, Fla.; Amber M. Biscotti of Mt. Pleasant; Cassandra M. Damery of Matthews; Preston H. Ellenberg of Leland; Paige A. Keaton of East Bend; Emma D. Kluge of Thomasville; A’Jewel Leak of Durham; Madison Lilly of Lexington; Autumn M. McGee of China Grove; Hannah M. Perry of Mocksville and Brooke N. Walser of Salisbury.

Senior nursing students in Catawba’s inaugural class of 2019 who were recognized during the ceremony included Vonetta Carrington of Charlotte; Tatyanna Carter of Salisbury; Sarah Ducote of Mocksville; Victoria Lopez of Salisbury; Cherell Martin of Salisbury; Cindra Martin of Mooresville; Sophia Smith of Salisbury; Stacy Sword-Halsey of Winston-Salem and Paul “Tyler” Thomas of Mocksville.

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