CHICOPEE — The Elms College School of Nursing held a white-coat ceremony on Dec. 5 to honor the college’s fourth cohort of DNP (doctor of nursing practice) students as they transition from the classroom into clinical practice experiences. The 15 honorees started in the DNP program in fall 2017 and will begin their clinical practice in January.
“Each one of you brings depths of knowledge, expertise, and dedication to the profession of nursing,” said Teresa Kuta Reske, director of the DNP program at Elms College, in a speech during the ceremony. “The next few months will be a journey of self-discovery as you begin to develop your own set of guiding principles and humanistic qualities most important in advanced nursing practice.”
The DNP white coat ceremony included opening remarks from Kathleen Scoble, dean of the School of Nursing; an address from Elms College President Harry Dumay; and a keynote address from Br. Michael Duffy, conventual Franciscan friar and associate dean of the School of Nursing. The ceremony also included an oath, a blessing of the white coats, and the presentation of the coats to the students.
“Today, you are needed more than ever,” Dumay told the honorees. “The demands on our healthcare system are more varied and complicated than ever before. The need for skilled and experienced nurse practitioners who are trained at the highest level, and are ready to evolve as knowledge expands and technology advances, is ever more pressing. Your training as a doctor of nursing practice is preparing you well to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.”
The DNP degree is a clinical practice doctorate. Students also take advanced specialty courses to become nurse practitioners. Elms College’s DNP graduates will be eligible to take the advanced certification examination in one of the two specialty tracks: family nurse practitioner or adult-gerontology acute-care nurse practitioner. Qualified master’s-prepared nurses who are advanced-practice nurses or nurse leaders are eligible to apply to a third DNP track: health systems innovation and leadership.