Celebrating Compassionate Care

Photo by Duane Zehr

By Matt Hawkins
February 2, 2015

In a ceremonial reminder of nursing students’ commitment to compassionate care, 87 Bradley sophomores received white coats January 30 as they prepared for their first set of clinical experiences.

Bradley’s nursing program was the only one in central Illinois, and one of three in the state, selected to participate in a national pilot program that celebrates students’ advancement toward the profession. One hundred programs across the U.S. hosted White Coat ceremonies in this year’s pilot program.

“Because we are proud of our students and the reputation of our program, we thought this would be a unique way to highlight our sophomore students who are really just beginning their introduction to professional nursing practice,” said associate department chair Dr. Peggy Flannigan.

The program builds on a two-decade tradition that recognizes medical students. A collaborative effort by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation aims to recognize nursing students with a similar celebration. A nationwide program will roll out in the fall.

“For many years, nurses have been identified as one of the most trusted professions,” Flannigan said. “Through this ceremony, we want to instill the importance of professionalism that builds caring, trusting and collaborative relationships with patients and their families.”

Bradley alumna Linda Curry, assistant director of nursing at Peoria’s Heddington Oaks skilled care center, shared words of wisdom and encouragement as guest speaker. Students also recited oaths of compassion and professional care and received pins as reminders of the oath.

Once clinicals begin, Bradley nursing students take advantage of the many experiential opportunities of living in the state’s largest medical community outside Chicago. Students will learn compassionate care in the region’s hospitals, health department offices and skilled care centers.