Nursing Starts New Tradition: White Coat Ceremony

Nursing Starts New Tradition: White Coat Ceremony


The entering class of nurses participated in JSU's first White Coat Ceremony on Sept. 17.

The College of Nursing welcomed its 67 new nursing students on Sept. 17 at JSU's first ever White Coat Ceremony. Supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the ceremony emphasized the importance of providing compassionate care among health professionals. 

"It is my hope that such a significant ceremony will have meaning and emphasize the importance of nursing as a caring profession to the new students entering our program," said Dean Christie Shelton. "We plan to continue this event for the traditional program each semester." 

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing selected JSU among  60 schools of nursing to receive a grant to host its first White Coat Ceremony. Although White Coat Ceremonies have been held by medical schools for more than 20 years, this is the first coordinated effort to offer similar events at nursing schools. The goal is to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

"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. Eileen T. Breslin, president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. "With health care becoming more patient-centered and team-driven, nurses, physicians, and other providers must embed humanism in their practice as a way to elevate the patient care experience and improve care outcomes." 

During the JSU ceremony, students were cloaked with their white lab coats, took an oath signifying their committment to compassionate care, and were presented a Humanism lapel pin to remind them of their committment.