Virtual ceremonies welcome Indiana University Kokomo’s new nursing students

SOURCE: News release from Indiana University Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo welcomed new students into its graduate and undergraduates programs, with a new take on the traditional ceremonies. 

The School of Nursing hosted its induction ceremony for 69 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N,) students, as well as its White Coat Ceremony for 12 new students in the Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.) program online.

Those honored included the 13 future nurses in the first class of the new accelerated program, for people who previously earned a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.

Dean Susan Hendricks welcomed all students to the undergraduate induction ceremony, and shared qualities of an excellent nurse. Those qualities include never turning away from someone in need, responding to people with care and empathy, being safety minded and consciencious, and being team players.

“As a nurse, these professional values will transform you. You will become a caregiver, a teacher, a coach, a leader, and a problem solver,” Hendricks said. “You are preparing to take a journey that will change you forever, and in a good way. This journey will require hard work, perseverance, and dedication. This journey will change your life, and it will be worth it.”

As Mark Canada, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, read names of each inductee, student pictures appeared on the screen, along with a sentence listing the three key possessions or people each one will take on their journey to become a nurse. Sophomore Brittany Lake led students in the nursing pledge, a promise to uphold the ethics of the nursing profession.

Hosted by faculty, the White Coat Ceremony is a time-honored tradition for F.N.P. students to declare their commitment to excellence in patient care, and adherence to the values of the profession.

An F.N.P. is a registered nurse who has completed specialized advanced graduate education, passed national board examinations, and is licensed to manage a broad array of health programs as a primary health care provider.

Mary Bourke, associate dean of graduate programs, said the importance of the ceremony is not the white coat, but instead, its meaning.

“It symbolizes an induction into the noble calling of providing primary health care,” she said. “The white color symbolizes professionalism, caring, and trust, which they must earn from patients. It also represents a purity of their mission to provide care for those who are ill, infirm, or dying, regardless of race or creed.”

As Canada read brief biographies for the F.N.P. students during the Zoom ceremony, each one received his or her white coat from a family member.

Students honored at the white coat ceremony included Brittany Stewart, Anderson; Simona Wildman, Carmel; Patricia Cox, Frankfort; Nathan Amayun and Michele Lawson, Indianapolis; Morgan Yerk, Lafayette; Jacob Barnes, Heather Bye, Alexis Hodupp and Judy Yard, Kokomo; Jenny McBride, Peru; and Miranda Mitchell, Wabash.

The inaugural class in the nursing program for students with previous bachelor’s degrees includes Jonah Jerrils, Alexandria; Hanna Elizabeth Alquezada and Emma Tolley, Frankfort; Allison Armstrong and Sydney Foster, Indianapolis; Amanda Dunn and Tramone Howard, Kokomo; Emma Bowen, Logansport; Aubrey Hauenstein, Abigail Krieg and Cassidy Reasoner, Noblesville; Kathryn Peck, Peru; and Hannah Hunting, Rochester.

Students inducted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program included Sarah Williams, Auburn; Emily Granson, Bringhurst; Catherine Stahly, Carmel; Seth Handy, Cicero; Garrett Elder, Elwood; Zachary Spillman, Fishers; Lanie Pocock, Fort Wayne; Jessica Akard, Zoe Martin, and Kaylea Whitcomb, Frankfort; Chloe Barney, Gas City; Brianna Ayres, Kayla Paul, and Kate Smith,  Greentown; Mariama Bah, Sara Benson, and Aneka White, Indianapolis; Jocilyn Claus, Ingalls; Makayla Blount, Nicole Burke, Lindsey Hall, Anielise Harris, Ellie-Marie Hendrickson, Emily Kirkpatrick, Hailey Law, Emily Leak, Crystal Metz, Jacob Peregoy, Amanda Purcell, Kayla Stout, Maya Vandergriff, and Megan Zurcher, Kokomo; Virginia Edgeman, Lafayette; Savannah Adair, Logansport; Claire Earley, Kayli Parker, and Madison Taylor; Marion; Kimee Kingma, Michigantown; Olivia Neal, Muncie; Megan Dorsch, Lexiann Hines, and Leah Sweeley, Noblesville; Emily Artrip, Blake Edwards, and Maegan Sinkovics, Peru; Aleksandr Andrianov, Rochester;  Allyson Dunk, Rossville; Cassidy Morris, Royal Center; Carlie Campbell, Russiaville; Taylor Bubp and Emily Terry, Sharpsville; Megan McElfresh, Tipton; Kelsey Burnham and Molly Moore, Wabash; Jaden Simpson, West Lafayette; and Ashley Strunk, Windfall.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.