The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have announced plans to pilot the first Gold Foundation Nursing White Coat Ceremony at 100 nursing schools nationwide to emphasize the commitment of incoming nursing students to provide compassionate care, according to a news release. The groundbreaking program was made possible by a lead gift of $500,000 from APGF trustee Elaine Adler and her husband, Mike.
First initiated in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation White Coat Ceremony has been held at medical schools for many years to initiate new classes of students and emphasize compassionate, patient-centered care. Now, about 96% of the schools of medicine in the U.S. accredited by the Association of American Medical Colleges hold a White Coat Ceremony.
To capitalize on the success of this widely hailed program, the Gold Foundation and AACN support expanding the White Coat Ceremony to nursing.
Inviting nursing into this initiative sends a clear message that all health professionals have an essential role to play in providing compassionate care, AACN President Eileen T. Breslin, RN. PhD, FAAN, said in a news release. AACN applauds our colleagues with the Gold Foundation and the Adlers for supporting this visionary effort that promotes excellence in healthcare delivery and interprofessional engagement.
For the pilot program, AACN will identify 100 schools interested in hosting a White Coat Ceremony for new nursing students enrolling in fall 2014. The deadline for schools to apply for the pilot program was May 30. Participating schools will receive financial support to host a ceremony, which would feature 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. Schools selected to participate will receive $3,000 in funding to defray expenses related to hosting the ceremony as well as a supply of commemorative pins. Following the pilot program, the Gold Foundation and AACN are planning a nationwide rollout of the White Coat Ceremony to a larger number of nursing institutions in 2015.