By Jordan Beach

Reinhardt University welcomed nine new members into the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences at the fifth White Coat Ceremony Jan. 5.

Reinhardt's fifth cohort of nursing students standing in a line on stage
  • Save

Family and friends gathered in the Bannister Glasshouse the Sunday before Spring 2020 semester began to celebrate the fifth cohort of Reinhardt’s nursing program.

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 includes wisdom from seasoned professionals, and students receive a blessing in the Blessing of the Hands portion of the ceremony. Rev. Jamie Hudgins, campus pastor, prayed over the hands of each future nurse to prepare them for a career of caretaking. Provost and Executive Vice President Mark Roberts 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.

Guest speaker Mickie Hollis, director of clinical development for Hamilton Medical Center, began volunteering with the American Red Cross at 15, however, the spark that ignited her passion came earlier in life. At 9 years old, Hollis performed a simple, yet kind, act each week during visits to a local nursing home with her mother.

“My biggest joy in seeing this lady was cleaning her dentures. That’s simple, but the joy that she got just from me doing that simple task for her...that look on her face when she put those back in her mouth—that's what ignited my desire to help people the rest of my life.”

Hollis spoke of the persistent changes of the medical field, requiring nurses to not only become lifelong caretakers but lifelong learners, as well. Throughout her career, Hollis continuously returned to school, most recently finishing her master’s degree in 2019.

“That’s going to be your life as you move forward, to continue that educational experience, whether it’s through CEUs (continuing education units), whether it’s through going back to school and getting your master’s, your Ph.D., if you’re going to become a physician, whatever that looks like for each individual person, that is your decision,” said Hollis. “But it’s never going to end because medicine is changing so rapidly.”

Through her work in education at Hamilton Medical Center, Hollis looks forwards to working with nurses graduating from Reinhardt’s program in years to come.

“I’m excited to have each one of these students come through our hospital, I look forward to meeting every one of you individually and working and giving you those clinical experiences that you need to go out and care for me, my children and whoever else that you choose to care for as you move forward in your careers.”