FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University’s College of Nursing honored students during its traditional White Coat Ceremony in Falcon Center Gym Friday evening.

The White Coat Ceremony tradition marks a student’s transition from pre-nursing into clinical practice. During the ceremony, the white coat is placed upon each student’s shoulders by the nursing faculty, with the ceremony concluding with the recitation of the Nurses Pledge. The College of Nursing Dean, Laura Clayton, said the White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the beginning of students’ nursing education journey.

“Many of our Students are from this regional area. So, we have about 83% of the students who reside locally and will plan to stay here. We do have students from throughout the state so some of those will go back to where they came from, and then we have a few out-of-state students,” said Dr. Clayton. “These students will have a job before they graduate. There is a nursing shortage, as you’re probably aware, throughout this region, throughout not only West Virginia but the U.S. itself. So, these students will have a job when they graduate which is pretty exciting.”

Dr. Clayton said they have a partnership with Woosong University and have students from South Korea in the nursing program and that many of those students stay in the state practicing. She also said the College of Nursing at Fairmont State University is expanding its programs to meet the needs of the community and the students.

WVU Medicine Children’s Vice President for Nursing Clinical Services and Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Mary Fanning, provided the keynote address during the ceremony.