Partnering with AACN for Nursing White Coat Ceremonies

2014 Nursing White Coat Ceremony at Ramapo College

2014 Nursing White Coat Ceremony at Ramapo College

In 2014, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) awarded 100 schools of nursing to receive funding support to pilot inaugural White Coat Ceremonies. With a lead gift 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.

Building on the success of last year’s collaboration, APGF and AACN are pleased to announce that new funding is available to nursing schools wishing to initiate a White Coat Ceremony in Fall 2015. Designed to promote the importance of compassionate care, the Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing is held at the beginning of an academic year to welcome and initiate new nursing students, while underscoring the importance of humanistic, patient-centered care.

This year, AACN will identify 60 schools interested in hosting a Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for new nursing students in Fall 2015. Participating schools will receive $1,000 in financial support to host a ceremony, which typically features the recitation of an oath, receipt of a commemorative pin, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests. The specially designed pin will serve as a visual reminder of the students’ oath and commitment to provide compassionate and high quality care. These events could include a welcome by the dean, the president of an affiliated hospital, or other respected leader who represents the value system of the school and the profession the students are about to enter.

Nursing schools interested in participating in the pilot program are encouraged to complete the online application. All applications must be received by July 15, 2015. The criteria that will be considered when selecting schools for this program include the application submission date, geographic diversity, and representation among AACN’s four institutional types: Small Schools; Academic Health Centers (AHCs); Private School without an AHC; and Public School without an AHC. Schools selected to participate will receive $1,000 in funding to help defray expenses related to hosting the ceremony. Note: Schools that received funding to host a White Coat Ceremony in 2014 will not be eligible to apply for new funding this year.

For more information about this program, please contact AACN program manager, Shelley McKearney at


The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF): As a growing not-for-profit organization we have a critical mission: to optimize the experience and outcomes of health care for both patients and practitioners by promoting care that is as humane as it is technologically sophisticated. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation works with healthcare professionals in training and in practice to instill a culture of respect, dignity and compassion for patients and professionals. When skilled practitioners build caring, trusting and collaborative relationships with patients, study after study reveals more appropriate medical decisions, better patient adherence with treatment plans, and less costly healthcare outcomes.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 765 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN’s educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor’s- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and