Friday, Aug. 21, marked a turning point in the lives of nearly 300 individuals when the College of Nursing donned several of its first-year students in their white coats, symbolizing the start of their journey to becoming true health care professionals.
In total, 174 BSN and 119 CNL students earned their white coats, and more than 1,200 people were in attendance.
In the field of nursing, white coats are symbolic of the professionalism expected of all nursing students. As a whole, though, white coat ceremonies are a relatively new institution in nursing schools.
The College of Nursing was among 60 nursing schools chosen this year to receive funding support for a white coat ceremony. That support came from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
According to a news release from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the collaboration with AACN was launched last year and was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.
Though white coat ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for more than 20 years, the APGF-AACN initiative marks the first time a coordinated effort was developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing.