EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Sixty-five aspiring nurses received their “white coats” on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Hunt School of Nursing at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

It’s a time-honored tradition as Texas Tech ushered in its fall 2023 cohort of nursing students.

“Part of the university`s 10th-anniversary celebration, the white coat ceremony not only marks the students’ entry into the profession but also symbolizes the institution’s dedication to cultivating local talent,” according to a news release.

Photos by Jesus Baltazar/KTSM

According to the news release, the ceremony marks the beginning of the students’ educational journey at the Hunt School of Nursing as they embark on the Accelerated B.S.N. program. The 16-month program leads to a bachelor`s degree in nursing.

Of the 65 students in the fall cohort, 54 come from the El Paso region.

“The Hunt School of Nursing is dedicated to growing our local nurses to address the region’s critical nurse shortage and other unique community health needs along the U.S.-Mexico border,” the news release stated. “Most of the school’s graduating nurses remain in the region to practice.”

Each student received a white coat embroidered with the Hunt School of Nursing seal.

“The coat symbolizes the cloak of compassion, reminding each of the importance of humility in community care during their careers. Their stethoscopes, which they received earlier, represent science. Together, they provide the pillars of their training,” according to the news release.