50 nursing schools selected in 2017 for White Coat Ceremony funding

A nursing student from Virginia Commonwealth University school of Nursing receiving his white coat during his 2014 White Coat Ceremony.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) have announced that 50 schools of nursing were selected to receive funding in 2017 to support White Coat Ceremonies this fall. The ritual is designed to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among the next generation of registered nurses.

“We are so pleased to work with the AACN to extend the White Coat Ceremony to 50 more nursing schools and share this ritual with their incoming students this fall,” said Dr. Richard I. Levin, CEO and President of the Gold Foundation. “An early and sustained emphasis on humanism is critical in today’s challenging healthcare environment — for patient care and for nurses themselves.”

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Gold Foundation and the AACN have partnered to sponsor White Coat Ceremonies at schools of nursing across the nation. With this latest group of 50 nursing schools, the two organizations will have provided financial, logistical and technical assistance for White Coat Ceremonies at 260 nursing schools in 49 states.

Dr. Arnold Gold helped formally launch the first White Coat Ceremony at Columbia University in 1993 to emphasize humanism from the very beginning of a physician’s career. Today, virtually every medical school in the United States holds a White Coat Ceremony.

Gold Foundation Trustee Elaine Adler and her late husband, Michael Adler, founders of the Adler Aphasia Center, developed this ground-breaking program to extend the White Coat Ceremony to incoming nursing students. Through their generous support, the Gold Foundation is providing $50,000 this year to the 50 nursing schools.

“As the healthcare provider who spends the most time with patients, nurses must embrace the need to provide compassionate care as an essential element of their professional practice,” said Dr. Juliann Sebastian, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. “With health care becoming more patient-centered and team-driven, nurses, physicians, and other providers must embed humanism in their practice as a catalyst for realizing the best possible care outcomes.”

Participating nursing 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 from the Gold Foundation serves as a visual reminder of the student’s role in championing compassionate care.

“We congratulate all the incoming nursing students on the journey they are about to start, and we wish them the best,” said Dr. Levin. “We hope they will recall their White Coat Ceremony whenever they need an inspiring touchpoint of humanism, and we encourage them to reach out to the Gold Foundation and its Community of Caring for support throughout their nursing careers.”

In 2017, the following nursing schools were selected for funding to launch White Coat Ceremonies:

Appalachian State University
Austin Peay State University
California State University, Long Beach
Calvin College
Carthage College
Creighton University
Felician University School of Nursing
Gonzaga University School of Nursing and Human Physiology
Holy Family University
Indiana University Kokomo
Keiser University Flagship Campus
Kennesaw State University WellStar School of Nursing
Kentucky Christian University Yancey School of Nursing
Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Professions
Mercy College of Health Sciences
Metropolitan State University
Mount Saint Mary’s University
Nevada State College
Norwich University
Oakland University
Olivet Nazarene University
OSF Saint Anthony College of Nursing
Pfeiffer University
Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Regis University
Southern Vermont College
Spring Hill College
Temple University
Texas Lutheran University
The University of Tulsa
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
Touro University California
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of California, San Francisco
University of Central Missouri
University of Maine
University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing
University of Mount Union
University of North Alabama
University of North Florida
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
University of Saint Francis
University of South Dakota Department of Nursing
University of Southern California (USC) Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Department of Nursing
University of Toledo College of Nursing BSN Program (The)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, College of Nursing
Viterbo University
West Virginia University
West Virginia University Institute of Technology
William Carey University