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Class of 2025 nursing students receive their white coats

Nursing students stand as they recite their oath.

Norwich University Nursing Program students marked a milestone in their academic achievements as they received their white coats during the White Coat Ceremony at 2:30 PM in the Plumley Armory.  

“I wasn’t nervous; I was looking forward to it. Taking the oath had significance to me as it will now allow me to give my best to the patient and mark a journey to patient care. I am excited to start my y med-surge clinicals since I want to be hands-on with my patients.” said Teresia Mwema, 23, a Corps of Cadets nursing student with a psychology minor from Nakuru, Kenya. 

The White Coat ceremony is a ritual and practice done within the nursing program that marks a student’s transition from preclinical to clinical health sciences. 

45 students, both from the undergraduate and accelerated programs, partake in the oath during the ceremony, indicating their dedication to humanistic and passionate care for their patients. Friends and family were encouraged to watch their beloved student recite the oath – some even coming from the opposite side of the country for the fifty-minute ceremony.   

“It was my first time speaking at Norwich’s White Coat ceremony…I am also a member of the Board of Fellows for the Nursing School, so it was exciting to be invited and to share a bit of my nursing story,” said Betsy Hassan, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPPS and Director of Nursing Education and Professional Development at University of Vermont’s Medical Center from Williston Vermont. 

Not only have they graduated from reading textbooks late into the night and sitting in classrooms absorbing heavy amounts of content from their lectures, but they now have the ability to utilize what they have learned in practical use.  

“The white coat ceremony really marks the transition from just having an education in teaching-classroom setting into the clinical part of the education for the student…they start going to the unit, interacting with patients, assessing patients, giving meds, all those types of actual clinical parts of their education,” said Hassan.  

Norwich’s nursing program is ranked third in the state of Vermont – indicating that its rigorous academics and small classroom environment produce the best students. The nursing program is known to be reputable as most hospitals and clinical centers around the Vermont area will look towards Norwich first to find new employees. 

The newly coated students expressed a varied amount of emotion during the event. Most went to hug their families and friends, while others shed a few tears, knowing how much work they had gone through to reach this moment.  

“To freshmen students and to nurses embarking on nursing school, I would say that it is really a special time,” said Hassan.  

“It is a time to learn as much as you can, build friendships, build a network of people who can support you, and to really build a connection with clinical faculty and instructors that will help you with your journey to success because you will get there! I promise.”  

“I would say just to push through…if you have any trouble with classes with your classes, just know other people are struggling too. It’s not just you!” said Hailey McCain, 20, a civilian nursing student with an English minor from Stratford, Connecticut.  

“I have no idea where I will be going [after Norwich], no clue! But wherever the world takes me, I will go.”  

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About the Contributor
Aira Yzabel Manampan, Editor In Chief
Aira Yzabel Manampan is The Guidon's current Editor-In-Chief and Editorial Cartoonist. She is a senior, expected to graduate with the class of 2024 in May. Aira is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. She is a part of the Corps of Cadets, affiliated with the Regimental Band. She is active on campus as the president of the Cartoonist of Norwich Club and the Digital Media Manager for The Grenadiers Jazz Band. Aira also serves as an ambassador for the NU Undergraduate Research Program and a Fellow for the Norwich Humanities Initiative for the Department of Global Humanities. Outside academics, she is a freelance cartoonist/illustrator.
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