The beginning of October marked the beginning of a new career in nursing for 110 entering students at Seton Hall's College of Nursing. To commemorate the occasion, incoming students took part in the White Coat Ceremony - a ceremony that has come to symbolize the formal entrance into the healing professions with the solemn donning of the white coat.
"The White Coat Ceremony is an incredibly transformative moment. Nursing is an exciting, wonderful profession, and there has never been a day in my life that I've regretted it," said College of Nursing Dean Marie Foley. "In donning the White Coat, we call upon our students to begin their journey, encouraging them to let their values shape and guide their careers as caring, compassionate healthcare professionals. Our students are taught to excel as servant leaders making a difference in their communities. And it all starts right here with the White Coat Ceremony."
Darelle Dilangalen, a first year nursing student from Rosebery, New Jersey, agreed, noting that she "was excited and scared during the ceremony, but honored to choose this profession and undertake this tremendous responsibility."
For the students taking part in the ceremony, the path to nursing followed journeys that were diverse yet similar, with "helping others" and "opportunity" at the forefront of reasons given for the pursuit of a career in nursing at Seton Hall.
Joseph Gannon of Pontevedera, Florida said he chose Seton Hall Nursing because of its revered program and its proximity to New York City. His reasons for choosing nursing, however, were more personal. "I was in an accident, and spent five days in the hospital. I really admired the nurses and the responsibilities they had, and I wanted to have a similar impact on people's lives," said Gannon.
Sapna Dhabliwala, of Iselin, New Jersey echoed those sentiments and added: "I feel blessed. It's been a journey, but standing here feels incredibly rewarding. I chose to become a nurse because I love working with people. I chose Seton Hall because the faculty and nursing students here make you feel comfortable and are always accessible when you need help," she said.
For Taylor Brown from Watchung Hills, New Jersey, the choice of nursing as a profession was part of a family tradition of helping others- a tradition instilled in Brown from a young age. Brown's grandmother was a social worker, and her mother, Rhonda Brown (who was present for the ceremony) was a retired case worker who worked with disabled children and victims of traumatic brain injuries. Expressing pride and admiration for her daughter's choice of nursing as a profession, Rhonda Brown noted, "Taylor's inspiration came when her niece was born prematurely, she watched over her and bonded with her. When she was six, she helped me take care of her younger brother who had cerebral palsy. His passing upset her, but I think it showed how caring and loving she is. We are all here to help each other."
In concluding, Dean Foley provided advice to her aspiring medical professionals: "There are many opportunities in the field of healthcare. And for nurses, the responsibility that goes with that opportunity is to be taken very seriously: In this profession, we have others' lives in our hands." Dean Foley continued, "To be successful, interact with your patients as you would want to be treated in that situation - how you would want your family to be treated. Be warm and caring, be knowledgeable and be compassionate."
Approximately 325 people, comprised of students, friends, family, faculty and colleagues attended the White Coat Ceremony. The event will be held again next year as Seton Hall welcomes its next incoming class of nurses.
Categories: Health and Medicine