USD Department of Nursing celebrates first B.S.N. cohort with White Coat Ceremony

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing announces the recognition of its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) students at a White Coat Ceremony, scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Farber Hall on USD’s campus in Vermillion and at 4:30 p.m. at the Sanford Education Center in Sioux Falls. Students will gather with their families, friends and faculty as they are 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 B.S.N. 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 Carla Dieter, Ed.D, F.N.P.-B.C., chair and professor of USD’s Department of Nursing. “Our B.S.N. graduates will be prepared to apply knowledge of healthcare policy, systems leadership, and evidence-based practice within interprofessional teams.”

Nursing is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing occupations. The demand for highly educated nurses, currently at an all-time high, will only continue to increase. USD’s B.S.N. program, which earned full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) earlier this year, consists of 120 credits that include theory, laboratory, simulation, and clinical learning experiences. Students have an opportunity to complete general education requirements and prerequisites during the first two years of the program, and nursing courses the final two years. Incoming freshman for the fall 2012 semester were able to declare the four-year B.S.N. as their degree thanks to authorization in the fall of 2011 by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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