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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