Island University’s White Coat Ceremony Welcomes Students into Nursing Family

Published: March 09, 2017

Island University’s White Coat Ceremony Welcomes Students into Nursing Family

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – More than 100 nursing students were honored by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s College of Nursing and Health Science during the Spring 2017 White Coat Ceremony at the Performing Arts Center. During this rite of passage, students recited an oath of service and received a special humanitarian pin from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. As a milestone, this ceremony recognized the students entering clinical study within the nursing program, transitioning from studying in labs on campus to their roles as student nurses in Coastal Bend health care facilities.

The White Coat Ceremony originated with Dr. Bunny Forgione, CONHS Associate Dean, who received a $3,000 grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The Island University was one of 100 programs across the nation to receive the grant in 2013.

 “The pin symbolizes humanism in health care,” said Forgione in her speech during the ceremony. “Caring implies an informed knowledge of the client’s condition, behaviors and preferences – emotional responses such as empathy, concern for comfort and respect for human dignity. As you can see from descriptions of humanism and the tenets of your curriculum here at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, you will be caring for the whole person using the highest of all standards.”

Cleo Vegkley, who’s working towards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, echoed this sentiment after the ceremony. As a determined Islander, she was focused on her studies, but now, she takes the time to remember what the ceremony taught her.

“As a nursing student, it’s easy to get caught up in exams and labs. You get so goal oriented that you can forget why you’re doing this. It’s not about getting A’s; it’s about providing the best care I can for my patient. That’s what stuck with me after I walked out of the White Coat Ceremony,” said Vegkley.

Tommy Reyna, who’s double majoring in science and nursing, was no stranger to ceremonies thanks to serving in the Army. However, it was a welcoming moment for experienced staff to bring the students into the nursing community.

“Everywhere you go, you’ll meet someone that you’ve met before—another hospital you worked at or just traveling. The ceremony symbolizes our professors bringing us into that family,” said Reyna.

The mission of COHNS is to beneficially impact the community by readying future healthcare providers with innovative educational programs. The College seeks out and attracts students who have been historically under-represented in the professions and welcomes them into the family. Through multicultural learning and collaborating, COHNS lives up to their tenants of humanism.

Nursing Students Honored:

Allison N. Abbott, Elham A. Abdulkarim, Lindsey G. Akers, Erika Alaniz, Rachel L. Allison, Edson W. Anaya, Leonel E. Arce, Josephine S. Arnold, Gladys V. Arratia, Candace L. Atwood, Brittany M. Bacher, William H. Barrett, Demitri W. Baxter, Jayme E. Beahm, Ashley M. Becker, Julianna Benitez, Benjamin M. Benshoof, Wyatt S. Blankenship, Cassandra M. Boone, Holly L. Brown, Jessica A. Brandt, Emily M. Brunkenhoefer, Julie V. Bui, Jessica G. Cabrera, Andrea Cantu, Kayla M. Carey, Jessica K. Carmona, Danielle N. Castro, Giselle Cavazos, Morgan R. Cavazos, Nadia K. Cespedes, Araceli M. Colmenero, Amanda J. Cornell, Beverly Crawford, Alexandra L. Davis-Ibancovichi, William J. Dodson, Marissa Dominguez, Nicole Eberhardt, Jennifer R. Encinia, Hallie E. Epps, Megan A. Ervin, Jordan J. Fisher, Amber N. Flack, Abel J. Freitas, Morgan T. Gawlik, Remington L. Geffken, Kevin L. Gibson, Nyokabi Gitahi, Garvey Golden, Arlene A. Gonzales, Amber L. Gray, Valerie J. Grims, Gyslemn A. Guerrero, Miranda A. Gutierrez, Maria Theresa G. Gallardo, Alison B. Gallegos, Bryana N. Gandara, Francisco Garcia, Inez B. Garcia, Lorenzo P. Garcia, Suzette M. Garcia, Brittani N. Garrett, Mykayla A. Garrison, Annalisa Garza, Ruben S. Garza, Alejandra Garza, Melinda J. Hays, Mallarie D. Hearn, Anyssa N. Hernandez, Marivel Hernandez, Natalie A. Hernandez, Diem Phuong H. Ho, Nicholas F. Holzmann, Amy B. Jackson, Lauren E. Jones, Olfat N. Kamal, Halle F. Kennedy, John H. Kingsley, Douglas A. Klopfenstein, Morgan R. Koteras, Brendan N. Langan, Jacquelyn F. Larsen, Lindsey M. LeCompte, Kara B. Lee, Morgan L. Limerick, Anna V. Loew, Jacey S. Love, Lisa A. Luick, Elizabeth M. Luke, Daniela N. Lute, Edward C. Macias, Noah Neil M. Margate, David J. Martin, Jaycie O. Martinez, Lesley Martinez, Alvin V. Mathew, Miranda R. McEntire, Amanda McKinzey, Lauren E. Mehring, Alyssa L. Mendoza-Hernandez, Kelsey R. Mihalski, Jacqueline J. Moffatt, Rachael N. Mohr, Misa A. Molina, Magdalena R. Montez, Faith N. Moorhouse, Marranda C. Morales, Kevin H. Moreno, Gabriela A. Morua, Haley A. Moss, Amber L. Mullins, Eric C. Nzeadibe, Naomi P. Parker, Wyatt L. Paschal, Sara L. Pena, Marie E. Pollard, Ayshia K. Puente, Alexa R. Rabagos, Frances A. Rabara, Daniel C. Reyes, Tommy L. Reyna, Kendall A. Ridley, Jonathan A. Riojas, Melanie M. Ritchie, Maria I. Rivas, Annabelle Rivera, Abigail P. Rodriguez, Lina M. Roel, Kimberlynn R. Rogers, Desiree L. Rutherford, Krista N. Saenz, Kendra M. Salaiz, Pamela J. Salas, Victoria D. Salas, Antonio J. Sanchez, Christina Sanchez, Mary K. Sebesta, Jennifer L. Steffen, Ariel L. Stephens, Caitlynn M. Sullivan, Rubi Tamez, Madison A. Tanner, Tatiana Tinoco, Kathy D. Tran, Aspen N. Tribble, Taylor P. Truly, David T. Truong, Sara N. Turnquist, Cathy A. Ulmer, Tiffany A. Vanzant, Crystal A. Vega, Elizabeth K. Vega, Cleo D. Vegkley, Raul A. Villalpando, Brittany R. Villarreal, Leah A. Villarreal, Jennifer M. Watts, Amanda C. Weidman, Chanyece L. Williams, Disney-Anne M. Willis, Donny H. Wood, Wilson M. Wood, Connie S. Woodburn, Sebastian Yanez, Amanda M. Ybarra, Alexander N. Zavala and Julia A. Zuniga