College of Nursing Passes Lamp of Learning to New Students

College of Nursing Passes Lamp of Learning to New Students

Jan 20, 2003 5:00 PM

The starched white nurses' caps of years ago are gone, but not the tradition of learning they stood for. On Thursday, January 23, the University of Utah College of Nursing will welcome 50 new students with its own fledgling tradition, the Lamp of Learning Ceremony.

The biannual event, similar to the White Coat ceremonies for newly accepted medical and pharmacy students at the U, will take place at 5:30 p.m. in room 212 of the College of Nursing on the U of U campus.

As the lights dim, Florence Nightingale, a.k.a. Kathleen Kaufman, M.S., associate professor of nursing, will appear, carrying a lamp like the one Nightingale carried 150 years ago as she bid goodnight to wounded soldiers in the Crimean War.

Speaking in the words of nursing education's founder, Kaufman will challenge the freshmen to "pick up this lamp of learning."

Following welcoming remarks by DeanMaureen Keefe, R.N., Ph.D., FAAN; nursing alumni board president Brenda Luther, R.N., M.S.N.; and officers of the nursing student advisory committee, each new student will receive a pin.

"The Lamp of Learning Ceremony has been developed by the current students and alumni of the College of Nursing to welcome incoming students each semester," said Dean Keefe. "It illuminates, at the beginning of their careers, the way to excellence in the profession."

The white caps nurses used to wear represented the schools where they were trained, and each school had its own identifiable cap. But that tradition was dropped in the 70s. Now, after almost 30 years without one, students are relishing the ritual. "It is a wonderful event filled with tradition and celebration!" said Keefe.

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