AACN Applauds The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Promoting Compassionate Care Among New Nursing Students Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC, April 27, 2017 – For the fourth consecutive year, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) are partnering to promote compassionate care by sponsoring White Coat Ceremonies at schools of nursing across the nation. This year, APGF is providing $50,000 to support events designed to instill a commitment to humanistic, patient-centered care among nursing students beginning their studies this fall.  To date, the partnering organizations have provided financial and technical assistance for White Coat Ceremonies offered at 210 nursing schools in 46 states.

“Nurses understand the importance of putting the needs of patients first in their work to provide critical lifesaving and life sustaining healthcare services,” said Juliann Sebastian, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. “AACN applauds The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for its generous support for promoting the importance of compassionate care to new nursing students by enabling more schools to offer White Coat Ceremonies. Together, our organizations will continue the work underway to ensure that all healthcare professionals provide humanistic, high quality care.”

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 showing compassion to patients in need. Recognizing the role that all health professionals must play in providing compassionate care, APGF and AACN began partnering in 2014 to showcase nursing’s commitment to elevating patient care. 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 identify 50 schools interested in hosting a Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for new nursing students in Fall 2017. 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 serves as a visual reminder of the student’s role in championing compassionate care. These events also may 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 Ceremony are encouraged to complete the online application. All applications must be received by July 15, 2017. 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. Note: Schools that have already received funding to host a White Coat Ceremony will not be eligible to apply for new funding this year.

For more information about this program, please contact AACN’s Faculty Initiatives Assistant Sydny Grossman at sgrossman@aacn.nche.edu.

 The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) is leading a national movement that is changing the culture of healthcare education and practice in the US. Over the past 30 years, the Foundation has focused on making compassionate, collaborative, scientifically excellent care the Gold Standard of healthcare.  More recently, through our innovative programs like Tell Me More®, we are accelerating the adoption of patient-centered care. The Gold Research Institute is demonstrating the impact of humanism on medical costs, quality, patient outcomes, and provider burnout, leading to on-the-ground changes to improve healthcare policy and practice. www.gold-foundation.org

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 810 schools of nursing with baccalaureate and/or graduate degrees 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 practice. www.aacn.nche.edu



Robert Rosseter

AACN Chief Communications Officer


202-463-6930, ext. 231