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College Events: Hooding and Pinning Ceremonies, White Coat Ceremony and Distinguished Lecture Series

Purpose: The College of Nursing hosts many formal ceremonies each year to celebrate important academic milestones for College of Nursing students and to recognize outstanding individuals who have earned awards and/or scholarships. This policy outlines specific information related to each ceremony.

Description: Events hosted by the College of Nursing are coordinated by Nursing Student Services in conjunction with staff at each site to provide a consistent experience for all students participating in the ceremonies.

White Coat Ceremony

Students participating in the White Coat ceremony are required to wear their hospital clinical attire to the ceremony and follow standards for clinical appearance. The ceremony program will include a speaker who will provide brief comments and the presentation of the White Coats to each individual student. Ceremonies will be held early in the first semester of the professional program at each site.

Scholarship & Awards Ceremony

Students who receive a scholarship awarded by the College of Nursing are invited to, and required to attend, a ceremony to recognize the award. Ceremonies are held in Brookings and Rapid City during the fall semester. Scholarship recipients from the Sioux Falls and Aberdeen sites will be recognized at the ceremony in Brookings. If a student is unable to attend due to a course or clinical conflict, the student must notify the Nursing Student Services office of the conflict as soon as possible. If a student has a conflict that is not course related, it must be approved by the Director of Nursing Student Services.

Students and guests should dress appropriately (minimum of business casual) for the ceremony. Clothing items such as jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. would be inappropriate for this event.

Additional awards may be recognized during this ceremony, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Teacher of the Year
  • Civil Service/Professional Staff Award for Excellence
  • Faculty Award for Excellence
  • Student Leadership Recognition
  • Scholarships awarded specifically to nursing students by SDSU Admissions or the Fishback Honors College
  • External Scholarships that are specific to nursing that are awarded to SDSU students (Avera ARCH, Brookings Hospital Auxiliary, Sanford Nursing Loan Forgiveness)

Pinning and Hooding Ceremony

Participation in the Pinning and Hooding Ceremony is strongly encouraged for students graduating at any of our sites across the state. Students and faculty participating in the ceremonies are required to wear formal academic attire including the appropriate gown and cap for the degree earned. Undergraduate nursing graduates will receive their nursing pins during the ceremony. Hooding will take place for graduates receiving a Master’s degree or Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree at each ceremony. PhD graduates participating in the Brookings-based Pinning and Hooding ceremony in the spring will be recognized during the ceremony and will be officially hooded during the Graduate Commencement exercises the following day. PhD graduates participating in fall and summer will be hooded at the Pinning and Hooding ceremony, as there is no formal graduation ceremony during the fall and summer semesters.

  • Awards specific to the graduating students may be recognized during the ceremony. Refer to Awards, Recognitions, and Honor Societies Guideline for more information.

Student achievements, honors and involvement may also be recognized during the ceremony and may vary by site and degrees included in the ceremony.  Recognitions may include, but are not limited to, the areas listed below.

  • Achievements: Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key, Mortar Board, Alpha Lambda Delta
  • Honors: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude
  • Involvement:  Student Nurses Association, Nurses Christian Fellowship, Nursing Student Ambassadors, Students Association (College of Nursing Representative)

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Helen K. Grace and Nursing Deans Distinguished Lectureship plays an important role in the college by providing research inspiration to future and current nurses, and by expanding South Dakota State University’s and South Dakota’s horizons. The lecture series brings to campus nationally recognized professionals in nursing to speak on the latest issues in the field. The lectureship is held during the spring semester each year and typically at the end of March early April.

Research Symposium

The College of Nursing, in collaboration with Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Chapter, sponsors an annual symposium which focuses on nursing research. A respected nurse researcher provides the keynote address. Faculty, Sigma Theta Tau members, other nurses, and students are invited to submit proposals to present their research in oral or poster presentation format.

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