News for NMU Employees

Nursing Selected for White Coat Ceremony

NMU’s School of Nursing is one of 100 nationwide selected to receive funding support to pilot White Coat Ceremonies, which are designed to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals. The selections were announced by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Though White Coat Ceremonies have been an important rite of passage at medical schools for more than 20 years, this new collaboration between APGF and the AACN marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing. In this pilot year, nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia were provided financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony. The event will consist of the recitation of an oath, cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model and a reception for students and invited guests.

"In part, schools of nursing were selected based on their reputation and history of sustained excellence," said Nanci Gasiewicz (Nursing). "In the State of Michigan, only two schools of nursing were selected: Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Therefore, NMU considers it to be an honor to be one of 100 schools selected to hold a White Coat Ceremony. The purpose of our ceremony will be to recognize those students who have successfully completed their prerequisite course work and have been accepted to the nursing core program. They will take an oath emphasizing the importance of compassionate care as well as scientific proficiency. Honored guests at NMU's ceremony will include 40 students beginning the practical nursing program, 42 students beginning the BSN program and 22 students beginning the DNP program."

NMU will receive $3,000 to defray costs of hosting its ceremony, scheduled for next week. The guest speaker will be Bobbie Berkowitz, dean and professor at Columbia University School of Nursing and senior vice president of Columbia University Medical Center. 

AACN President Eileen Breslin said, “By offering White Coat Ceremonies, our schools are sending a clear message to new nursing students that compassionate care must be a hallmark of their clinical practice. Securing a commitment to providing patient-centered care at the beginning of a nurse’s professional formation will help to raise the quality of care available to all patients.”

Following the pilot program, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the AACN are planning 2015 to be the inaugural year for the nationwide rollout of the White Coat Ceremony to a larger number of nursing institutions.