AACN, Gold Foundation announce 2021 White Coat/Oath Ceremony funding for nursing schools

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) are pleased to announce the expansion of a national initiative designed to inspire a lifelong commitment to compassionate care by the next generation of registered nurses. This year, the Gold Foundation is providing $50,000 in funding to schools of nursing to offer White Coat/Oath Ceremonies, which are designed to promote patient-centered care among students entering nursing school. Since 2014, the partnering organizations have provided financial and technical support to 360 schools of nursing in 49 states through this initiative that champions humanism in healthcare.

“Compassion is essential to quality health care and the key to developing a strong connection between patient and provider,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AACN. “On behalf of academic nursing, I applaud the Gold Foundation for their longstanding commitment to dramatically improving health care by placing the interests, values, and dignity of all people at the core of teaching and practice across the health professions.”

Since 1993, White Coat Ceremonies have served as a rite of passage for new medical students who commit on their first day of medical school to compassionate and respectful care for all patients. The Gold Foundation and AACN began partnering in 2014 to offer these events and showcase nursing’s commitment to treating all patients with kindness, trust, and empathy. AACN member schools are adapting these ceremonies to fit the needs of academic nursing, including developing a new oath that aligns with the profession’s approach to care delivery.

This year, AACN will select 50 schools interested in hosting a White Coat/Oath Ceremony for new nursing students in Fall 2021. 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 lapel pin to signify the oath, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests. These events often 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 offering a White Coat/Oath Ceremony (either in-person or virtually) are encouraged to complete the online application by June 4, 2021. The criteria that will be considered when selecting schools for funding 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. Note: Schools that previously received funding to host a White Coat Ceremony through this partnership will not be eligible to apply for new funding this year.

For more information about this program, contact Emily Turek, AACN Government Affairs and Policy Assistant, at eturek@aacnnursing.org.

About AACN

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing nearly 840 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research and practice.