DANVILLE -- Lakeview College of Nursing recently held a ceremony to recognize students who achieved the transition into clinical practice within their bachelor's degree nursing program.

Over 40 students from Lakeview's Charleston and Danville campuses participated in the event that was held this fall at the Wyndham Garden in Urbana. A large number of supportive family members and friends also attended and came close to filling the facility.

Students from the local area who received a coat include the following:

Katelynn Johnson of Marshall, Katie Bloom of Villa Grove, Kamryn Boarman of Neoga, Samantha Burrus of Cowden, Christine Fields of Charleston, Rendie Hamilton of Mattoon, Laura Hardiek of Effingham, Jackie Irish of Paris, Sydney Justice of Ashmore, Jazmin Kuyrkendall of Charleston, Kassidy Montgomery of Oreana, Mackenzie Morrison of Cowden, LaKaylee Ordner of Sigel, Colleen Perry of Paris, and Emma Zerrusen of Teutopolis.

The college's faculty, who were also wearing white coats, cloaked the students with their new garments. The white color of the coat represents compassionate caring, and the student's receipt of the jacket demonstrates a commitment to this compassionate and humanistic care, according to Carolyn Rauch, who is a faculty member at Lakeview College of Nursing. Rauch spoke at the event about the symbolism that the white coat represents.

"Historically, the white coat ceremony has been reserved for a college of medicine as a way of welcoming new physicians into professional practice. The new physicians would receive their white lab coats upon graduation in recognition of their accomplishment," said Rauch.

Within the nursing community, the right of passage into professional practice has traditionally been symbolized by graduates receiving their college's official nursing pin. Although this tradition continues, the nursing profession, as well as overall health care, has changed, explained Rauch.

Lakeview holds its white coat ceremony event to signify the transition of beginning level nursing students from classroom knowledge to clinical practice. The same coat that is received at the white coat ceremony will also be donned for Lakeview's pinning ceremony that will occur at the end of the nursing program.

Gabe Thaman, class of 2015, was the alumni speaker at the event. He provided inspiration and encouragement to those receiving the white coats. Thaman is currently working as a labor and delivery nurse at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Members of Lakeview's Student Government Association led the Nightengale Nursing Pledge and the White Coat Oath. Students recited verses that call for practicing the profession to the best of their ability as well as to promote, advocate and strive to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient.

Lakeview College of Nursing offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree. It is a single-purpose, private institution that has specialized in nursing education in the Danville area since 1894. Lakeview began offering a cooperative program with Eastern Illinois University in Charleston in the fall of 2001.

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