to receive funding support to pilot White Coat Ceremonies. The ceremonies are designed to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing announced that 100 schools of nursing were selected nationwide. Funded by APGF Trustee Elaine Adler and her husband, Mike, co-founders of the Adler Aphasia Center, this ground-breaking program was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among incoming nursing students this fall.
Following the pilot program, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and AACN are planning 2015 to be the inaugural year for the nationwide rollout of the White Coat Ceremony to a larger number of nursing institutions.
“The White Coat Ceremony affords us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the students as they begin their nursing clinical coursework,” said Jan Lee, professor of nursing and chair of Clarke’s nursing department. “We hope this rite of passage will become yet another important Clarke nursing tradition.”
Clarke was one of only two Iowa schools selected.
Though White Coat Ceremonies have been an important rite of passage at medical schools for more than 20 years, this new collaboration between APGF and AACN marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing. In this pilot year, nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia were provided financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony, which will consist of the recitation of an oath, cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests. Students also will receive a specially designed pin that will serve as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care.
“By offering White Coat Ceremonies, our schools are sending a clear message to new nursing students that compassionate care must be a hallmark of their clinical practice,” said Dr. Eileen T. Breslin, AACN president.