KOKOMO, Ind. — Thirteen future nurse practitioners received the symbol of their career aspirations Monday, August 13, at Indiana University Kokomo’s white coat ceremony.
Faculty presented each one the white coat that denotes their acceptance into the family nurse practitioner (F.N.P.) program, in a ceremony in Havens Auditorium.
When these students graduate, they will be taking on the role of primary health care provider,” said Susan Hendricks, dean of the School of Nursing. “The white coat signifies the transition into their new role. It’s also an opportunity for the faculty to honor them for being selected, and to share the professional expectations that go with it.”
Mary Bourke, assistant dean of graduate programs, noted that the white coat symbolizes the purity of the F.N.P.’s mission, to care for the sick and comfort the dying.
It also symbolizes the trust that is implied when one wears the white coat,” she said. “This is a sacred trust between a patient and their primary care provider.”
She encouraged the students to never lose sight of why they wanted to advance their careers by earning the F.N.P. credential.
It takes courage and commitment to serve others, especially in their time of greatest need,” Bourke said. “You will navigate the complex health care environment, negotiating as an advocate for your patients.”
F.N.P.s are registered nurses who have completed specialized advanced graduate education, passed national board examinations, and are licensed to manage a broad range of health problems. They do physical exams, order and interpret results from blood tests and X-rays, diagnose and treat illnesses, and write prescriptions. They use a patient and family-centered approach to health care, and emphasize health promotion, disease prevention, patient education, symptom control, and care coordination.
IU Kokomo’s F.N.P. program began in January 2017. A unique feature of the program is that it provides clinical practicum placements for its students, rather than requiring them to find their own. Other regional health care systems and medical practitioners also are providing opportunities for students to complete the 600 required clinical hours.
Students honored are listed by hometown. They include:
Cicero: Natalie Wilkins
Frankfort: Adam Weir
Kokomo: Shirley Patterson, Karen Stephan
Lafayette: Michaela Anderson, Megan Goodwin, Erika Mullins, Emily Swope
Noblesville: Patricia Hunter
North Manchester: Alyssa Bohuk
Peru: Jessica Arwood, Jordan Hatfield, Alaynah Weisend
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.