The SIUE School of Nursing recognized 32 nurse anesthesia doctoral candidates during a recent White Coat Ceremony.EDWARDSVILLE – The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SON) recognized 32 nurse anesthesia doctoral candidates for the hard work they have put into preparing for their clinical training with a White Coat Ceremony held Friday, March 4.

The registered nurses from the Midwest region are specializing in the practice of nurse anesthesia. The students were chosen from a competitive pool of more than 150 applicants and will graduate in 2024 as the SON’s seventh cohort of doctorally-prepared nurse anesthesiologists.

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“The impetus for developing this ceremony came from the desire to recognize the hard work our nurse anesthesia doctoral candidates put into preparing for their clinical training in anesthesia,” said Kevin Stein, DNAP, CRNA, chair of the SON’s Department of Nurse Anesthesiology. “These students spent four years preparing to become registered nurses, have worked at the bedside in critical care units providing for the needs of their patients, and have completed the first year of didactic study in their doctoral training to include a semester-long intensive in the Simulated Learning Center for Health Sciences. They are now prepared to enter the clinical setting to begin practicing anesthesia.”

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage that serves to welcome students to healthcare practice and elevate the value of humanism as the core of healthcare. The white coat is a symbol of scientific excellence and represents purity of purpose in becoming a nurse anesthetist, the delivery of highly competent and compassionate care to those who seek help.

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The first White Coat Ceremony took place in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation helped advance the White Coat Ceremony far beyond Columbia. In just a few years the ceremony was adopted by nearly every medical school in North America.

In 2014, recognizing the vital role nurses play in the healthcare team, the Gold Foundation partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to adopt a White Coat Ceremony for Nursing. More than 360 schools of nursing now participate and the number continues to grow.

“SIUE’s Nurse Anesthesia DNP program has an outstanding reputation for its quality instruction and excellence in clinical training,” Stein said. “Our faculty provide students with a unique integration of theoretical education and hands-on experience. Our students receive exceptional didactic instruction from experientially qualified faculty who are actively engaged in clinical practice.”

The SON’s nurse anesthesia students are part of a supportive and rich intellectual environment that is tailored to the needs of adult learners. The program delivers a first-rate clinical experience to students by offering a broad spectrum of clinical experiences in diverse settings. The SON’s clinical partner network includes more than 50 facilities across the St. Louis metropolitan and Central and Southern Illinois areas.

The School of Nursing’s programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment. SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs on the Edwardsville campus help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education.

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