Department of Nursing Celebrates First Sophomore Convocation with White Coat Ceremony

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The West Virginia Wesleyan College Department of Nursing recently held its first sophomore class convocation and white coat ceremony on September 27 in Wesley Chapel.  Over 30 students gathered with their families, friends, and faculty as they were awarded their first white lab coat.
The white coat ceremony welcomes the students to the nursing profession and represents the transition from classroom learning to clinical learning, when students begin caring for patients in various health care settings.  The students have been admitted to the nursing clinical courses after meeting academic excellence in required coursework.

“We are pleased to recognize these students who will one day enter the workforce prepared to practice within complex health care systems in diverse environments,” said Thomas M. Smith, director of the School of Health Sciences. “The white coat is a tangible reminder of the contract students make with every patient.  It is a reminder that their heart is as important as their minds and hands in being a nurse.”

Dr. Judith McKinney, chair of the Department of Nursing, was the keynote speaker for the event. Dr. McKinney noted, “Today each of us has a unique opportunity to learn the healer’s art that began more than fifty years ago when nursing education was instituted at Wesleyan.  Nursing students today learn the science, the skills, the art of healing.  Today you are encouraged to do all the good you can, by all the means you can as you learn the healer’s art.  Nursing is never dull, but always challenging and rewarding.  Each of you has an opportunity to become an outstanding nurse who positively affects patients, practice, and the profession.”

Nursing is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing occupations. The demand for highly educated nurses is currently at an all-time high and will only continue to increase. Wesleyan’s program includes a traditional bachelor’s degree, as well as master’s offerings in administration, education; advanced practice nursing concentrations in nurse-midwifery and psychiatric mental health; family nurse practitioner concentration, as well as an MSN/MBA program.  In addition, post-master’s certificates have been added in education, administration and family nurse practitioner.

West Virginia Wesleyan College’s School of Health Sciences has programs offering bachelor of science degrees in nursing, athletic training, exercise science, and physical and health education.  Master’s degrees are also offered in athletic training.  For more information about the School of Health Sciences, please visit or call (304) 473-8224.