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November 29, 2021

SVSU students step toward nursing careers in White Coat Ceremony

Saginaw Valley State University saw 78 nursing students pledge to serve others as they recited an oath to patient care and accepted a white coat as a symbol of their professional status. It is a rite of passage familiar to many in the healthcare field.

SVSU held two White Coat Ceremonies ― the first ever at the university ― one for 56 students pursuing Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees, and another for 22 students in the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program. The 2021 Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing at SVSU was made possible by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

“The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage that serves to welcome students to their clinical practice,” said Karen Brown-Fackler, SVSU associate professor of nursing. “The most important part of the ceremony is the oath that students take in front of family members, faculty members, university administrators, and their peers to provide compassionate and respectful care to patients and families.”

All of the students hail from Michigan, a state challenged by a current nursing shortage.

Monica Baranski, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at McLaren Bay Region, gave the keynote address at the ceremony for BSN students. Several members of SVSU’s nursing faculty spoke at the ceremony for Primary Care FNPs. Faculty presented white coats to the students at both events.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Arnold P. Gold, M.D., who was a professor and pediatric neurologist. Dr. Gold, a passionate advocate for humanistic healthcare, believed that the oath taken by new physicians at the end of medical school came too late. Through the nonprofit organization that he and his wife, Dr. Sandra Gold, started, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation has expanded the White Coat Ceremony around the globe.

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.

This year, there are 25 students in SVSU’s Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner Program and 77 in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. All are from Michigan.

Students in the FNP program are:

  • Aubree Akers, Ashley
  • Danielle Alvarado, Saginaw
  • Kristine Aurand, Traverse City
  • Jessica Belill, Birch Run
  • Gandhi Bhattarai, Saginaw
  • Grace Djapri, Midland
  • Cecilia First, Mount Pleasant
  • Dana Gonzalez, Palms
  • Joshuah Guigar, Bad Axe
  • Wendy Haenlein, Saginaw
  • Ashley Howe, Saginaw
  • Hailey Jancarik, Corunna
  • Lindsay Kienitz, Saginaw
  • Kimberly Lange, Fenton
  • Nicole Mahirwe, Freeland
  • Jane Maina, Essexville
  • Sarah Noyes, Freeland
  • Kailey Obendorfer, Freeland
  • Devin Ohora, Midland
  • Amber Schauman, Freeland
  • Zachary Stewart, Saginaw
  • Alicia Sullivan, Freeland
  • Alyona Tourlaeva, Wolverine Lake
  • Angela VanDerkarr, Traverse City
  • Jessica Westphal, Saginaw

The BSN students are:

  • Fatimah Al Taroti, Saginaw
  • Brody Ankoviak, Hope
  • Brianne Aumann, Essexville
  • Sarah Bauer, Saginaw
  • Ava Befus, Midland
  • Udita Bhandari, Saginaw
  • Rachel Boswell, Croswell
  • Ciara Brzezinski, Saginaw
  • Mariah Curtiss, Freeland
  • Shelby Durbin, Fowlerville
  • Emily Gadille, Bay City
  • Ashley Green, Davison
  • Madison Greene, Midland
  • Alyssa Grzemkowski, Saginaw
  • Aleah Hibbard, West Branch
  • Gabrielle Isles, Bannister
  • Madasyn Justice, Pinckney
  • Elizabeth Mikolajek, Fraser
  • Alexis Naylis, Oxford
  • Shristi Paudyal, Saginaw
  • Hailey Pfaff, Harbor Beach
  • Lauren Pfleghaar, Bay City
  • McKenna Rusz, Saginaw
  • John Spryshak, Hartland
  • Rheanna Swinson, Big Rapids
  • Mikaela VanErp, Ubly
  • Madeline Yanoski, Pinconning
  • Zolene Anter, Marlette
  • Emma Bell, Macomb
  • Laila Boggan, Rochester Hills
  • Kristen Brylowski, Ostego
  • Tyler Burrell, Commerce Township
  • Rachel Ceresa, Hartland
  • Jacquelyn Couturier, New Baltimore
  • Jillian Degroat, Fenton
  • Mackenzie Falls, Port Sanilac
  • Sarah Fredrick, Grosse Pointe Woods
  • Alexis Gills, Byron Center
  • Isabella Grillo, Fraser
  • Jenna Hine, Kawkawlin
  • Rylyn Hrabal, Breckenridge
  • Destiny Khang, Kawkawlin
  • Nolan Manauis, Clinton Township
  • Alyssa Middleton, West Branch
  • Dixie Moorman, Sunfield
  • Lilly Piorkowski, Vassar
  • Paige Prime, Caro
  • Madison Saleh, Clinton Township
  • Gabrielle Simons, Merrill
  • Kiersten Stoddard, Jackson
  • McKenzie Stomack, Ubly
  • Katherine Tennyson, Byron
  • Natalie Aldrich, Clio
  • Noelle Augustyniak, Pinconning
  • Kylie Beaudry, Bay City
  • Nicole Bragg, Howell
  • Josie Butterfield, Bay City
  • Frida Chico, Holland
  • Avery Eastman, Galesburg
  • Cynthia Ferguson, St. Helen
  • Michelle Ferrell, Westland
  • Lauren Gerard, Chesterfield
  • Madison Groves, Traverse City
  • Ashlyn Harris, Byron
  • Brooklyn Kelly, Sanford
  • Jasmon Kjaer, Snover
  • Kyle Krupp, Eagle
  • Rachel Lupini, Grand Ledge
  • Sydnee Martin, Ida
  • Alexa Mort, Henderson
  • Jenna Powell, Midland
  • Sarah Pretzer, Midland
  • Elle Shelvey, Wolverine Lake
  • Allyson Simmons, Midland
  • Hailey Sirut, Macomb
  • Micah Stinson, Midland
  • Madison Tousigna, West Branch