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September 17, 2018

Avila University Celebrates 70th Anniversary of Nursing Program with the Gold Foundation White Coat Ceremony

                                                                                                                                       avila school of nursing students

One of oldest baccalaureate programs of nursing in the Kansas City region, the Avila School of Nursing celebrates 70 years as it admits students to the nursing class of 2020. This fall, junior nursing students participated in a formal commitment ceremony pledging an oath of providing compassionate patient care as a future health care provider. In celebration of 70 years of nursing at Avila and in partnership with the Gold Foundation, 51 nursing students walked across the Jean and Bill Buchanan Stage inside Goppert Theatre to be recognized in front of family, friends and fellow nursing students.

During the ceremony, Janet Reagor, Ph.D., RN, Avila School of Nursing chair, shared four “C’s” that are imperative as students embark on their journey through nursing school - compassion, communication, courage, and commitment. Reagor said, “This ceremony sets the mind frame for the experiences student will encounter as they progress through the Avila nursing program and begin their nursing career.” 

Kelby Schroeder, MSN, APRN FNP-C, ’13, recipient of the 2018 School of Nursing Alumni Award, was the keynote speaker. Schroeder spoke about her passion and dedication to her patients. In addition to her work in the Kansas City area, she lives out Avila’s mission and values by serving the dear neighbor through medical missions to Guatemala.   

This year’s ceremony was unique in that Avila students are among a select group of nursing students in the country to participate in a Gold Foundation White Coat ceremony. The Gold Foundation was initiated in 1993 by Arnold P. Gold, M.D., who was a professor, pediatric neurologist and a passionate advocate for humanistic health care. The White Coat ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of health care education. Today, nearly every medical school in the United States, hundreds of nursing schools and many other health profession schools around the globe participate in this tradition of humanistic care. Identified by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, Avila University was among 50 nursing schools selected in 2018, for the Gold Foundation grant that provides funding for this ceremony through the generous support of its trustee and donor, Elaine Adler.

Avila University will honor its 70 years of nursing education excellence throughout the year, including numerous events and reunions on Thursday, October 18 during the university’s homecoming week. Nursing alumni and friends of Avila, are invited to be a part of this milestone celebration. For complete details about this upcoming event, please visit Homecoming Weekend 2018. 

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