By Jordan Beach 

 

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Reinhardt University welcomed 23 new members into the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences at the sixth White Coat Ceremony on Oct. 5.

Family and friends gathered virtually to watch as Reinhardt’s most recent student nurses donned their white coats for the first time. The ceremony was hosted at the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences Jasper location.

The White Coat Ceremony has been used to welcome doctors into medical school for many years and was recently incorporated into the nursing profession. Reinhardt’s ceremony looked different this semester as the cohort split in two groups, participating in two condensed ceremonies.

Students received a blessing in the Blessing of the Hands from their socially distanced seats. Josh Garner, coordinator of spiritual life and service, prayed over the hands of the future nurses from their seats to prepare them for a career of caretaking. All in attendance wore masks and the incoming students put on their coats themselves, eliminating contact with others.

Dr. Mark Roberts, interim president, shared the poem he wrote in honor of Reinhardt’s inaugural White Coat Ceremony. “Handiwork” talks about the healing of nurses and the healing of hands of a mother raising a child.

For Dr. LeAnne Wilhite, dean of the Cauble School of Nursing and Health Sciences, this was her first Reinhardt University White Coat Ceremony.

“I was overjoyed that we were able to provide a ceremony to celebrate this next step in their nursing journey,” said Wilhite. “It is an honor to be part of their growth as nurses and watch them as they work hard to reach their goal.”

Wilhite looks forward to walking alongside Reinhardt’s student nurses as they pursue their nursing degrees and certifications.

“It has been such a privilege to begin my journey at Reinhardt with this group of students. They are all so eager to learn and grow in this profession and I have no doubt they will do well.”