Union’s nursing class of 2018 begins clinical experience

Published on
September 26, 2016

Union’s nursing class of 2018 begins clinical experience Union College’s newest nursing class was honored recently during a white coat ceremony commemorating the students’ induction into the Edna Jenkins Mann School of Nursing.  

Dr. Marisa Greer, Dean of Nursing, welcomed 18 new students into Union’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program with the ceremony. Students have completed the core portion of their undergraduate curriculum and will now focus on upper level courses, which for the nursing students includes clinical experience at Union’s partner facilities. During the ceremony, Dr. Greer gave each student a white nursing coat recognizing their introduction to the traditions and practice of nursing.

“They are moving ahead into something they have worked so hard for, but when they are done, they will have the tools they need to make a difference,” Dr. Greer said.

Dr. Marcia Hawkins, Union College President, opened the fall ceremony recognizing the hard work of Union’s nursing students and the commitment to meet the challenges of the program as well as the career.

“Many of those that you will see in this field may not remember your name, but they will always remember how you made them feel,” said President Hawkins.

Dr. David Johns, Union’s Vice-President for Academic Affairs, provided the nursing students with a keynote address during a ceremony, highlighting the journey the 18 students now find themselves on. Dr. Johns said the path they are traveling is well defined, but the students will soon discover another part of the journey not so predictable.

“Being a nurse requires that you not only provide care, but that you care,” Dr. Johns said. “This journey places you alongside your human family in their greatest time of need. For you, there is not greater place to be.”

While the focus of this white coat ceremony was on the Class of 2018, Dr. Greer also took the time to recognize Union’s Class of 2016 nursing class. Those students, some of which attended this ceremony, are the first graduates from the four-year pre-licensure program. Dr. Greer noted the class had a 100 percent pass rate and a 100 percent employment rate.

The Class of 2016 led their Class of 2018 peers through the final stage of the induction ceremony – a candle lighting service. After each student crossed the stage and received a white nurses coat from Dr. Greer, they stood before their peers and families holding a single candle; a reflection to Florence Nightingale and the nurses’ commitment to always look over their patients. Each candle was then ceremoniously lit, sending the new nursing students forward on their clinical journeys and further along the path to becoming nurses.  

Union College established the Edna Jenkins Mann School of Nursing in 2010. At that time, registered nurses could enter the program to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In 2012, Union launched the pre-licensure phase of the program allowing students to earn a traditional four-year degree in nursing.

In 2016, the Edna Jenkins Mann School of Nursing was expanded to include a fully online RN-BSN program to accommodate working nurses throughout the region. Union’s programs are accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools, Commission on Colleges; the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Currently, Union College has 106 students enrolled in the pre-licensure BSN program, 30 of which are on track to graduate in the next two years, and 33 students enrolled in the RN-BSN program.

To learn more about Union College’s Edna Jenkins Mann School of Nursing, please visit www.unionky.edu/nursing.