Today the University of Sioux Falls School of Nursing welcomed 66 new students to its Traditional and Accelerated Nursing programs in its second-annual White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony is among many events this spring that celebrate and aid in producing some of the best nurses in the region. 

In April, New York Times bestselling author and nurse Theresa Brown will deliver the keynote address at the annual USF Research Symposium. The event is free and open to the public, and students will have unique opportunities to engage with Brown.

Senior Nursing student Branden Boyd, who has already been offered a full-time RN position at Sanford and is a nominee for the Outstanding Student Nurse by the South Dakota Student Nursing Association, is grateful for the quality programing at USF.  

“I feel prepared to start my career as a RN because of the USF faculty and staff and my experience in the Nursing program,” Boyd said. 

The Nursing program’s 97 percent pass rate exceeds the national rate by 10 percent and is among the highest in the state.

 All of USF’s nursing students receive hands-on opportunities to gain experience while in school. Just last month, nursing students had the opportunity to serve medically around the globe in El Salvador and in our community at the Rosebud Reservation. 

Also an important event in February, USF hosts the South Dakota Student Nursing Association Conference on campus. The event provides nursing students educational opportunities through leadership, education and career networking. 

 The conference kicks off with a simulation that brings awareness to the realities of poverty in the community as a whole while simultaneously exposing the effects poverty produces on an individual and personal level. As nursing students assume the virtual challenges and realities of poverty, they will be able to better understand how to effectively care for those who experience these challenges daily.

“The excitement and determination is palpable as students enter into a field of study from which the highest of outcomes is realized—acting as servant leaders for our fellow man during their most vulnerable states,” said Dr. Jessica Cherenegar, director of the School of Nursing. “Nursing school isn’t just examinations and practicing skills. It is during this time that we strive to instill the confidence required to care for people across the lifespan and health continuum—whether bringing a new life into the world, focusing on wellness and disease management or helping people die with dignity. The White Coat Ceremony provides the faculty and staff of the School of Nursing as well as all of the loved ones of our students the chance to formally welcome them into the noblest of professions.”

USF’s incoming Accelerated Nursing students include:

Santos Aguilar, Misti Albers, Birtukan Belay, Cecilia Bohls, Brandi Broekemeier, Hannah Dean, Ashley DeFevere, Shannon Dela Cruz, Alexandria Erickson, Destiney Fetterman, Kimberly Fier, Ian Graham, Katelyn Hart, Madison Holm, Veronica Holmes, Aspen Hulme, Jessica Johnson, Kaitlyn Johnson, Kelsey Kepple, Adrienne Kulzer, Margaret Nabankema, Shea Noerengerg, Reanna Ostreng, Ashton Parks, Mary Pate, Autumn Peterson, Travis Postma, Vanessa Rise, Janeane Robinson, Kristina Sanderson, Madeline Simkunas, Jennifer Sinrud, Chelsey Strand, Paige TeGantvoort, Jennylyn Vander Laan, Jennifer Wagner, Lindsey Wasland, Chelsea Welty, Danielle Wilson, Kaisha Young, Toni Zirbel 

USF’s incoming Traditional Nursing students include:

Regan Ahlers, Methan Bratland, Gillian Cheney, Hannah Curry, Naomi Dooyema, Danae Elrich, Kailey Eskam, Elizabeth Ferdinand, Haley Fockler, Brianna Gaulke, Parker Gregston, Mya Hanisch, Molly Heyn, Angela Kelley, Courtney Mathews, Brooklynn McCaulley, Courtney McDonald, Lily McKnown, Sadie Merchant, Kaitlyn Nelson, McKayla Philippi, Carley Poppenga, Hayley Rogers, Marie Schmitz, Andrew Schumake, Mariah Szymanski

In 2014 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing partnered with the Gold Foundation to adopt a White Coat Ceremony for nursing in order to recognize the vital role nurses play in the healthcare team. More than 200 schools of nursing nationwide now participate, and the number continues to grow.

About USF’s School of Nursing                   

USF established its School of Nursing in 2008 and today offers three programs of study: An accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program sequenced over four semesters designed for students with a previously earned bachelor’s degree in an area other than nursing; a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and an online RN-to-BSN degree program.

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