UAB School of Nursing hosts inaugural Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing

School one of 60 to receive funding support for ceremony
IMG 9869First-semester bachelor of science in nursing students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing were welcomed into their chosen profession in the School’s inaugural Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing, which is designed to establish an expectation that students demonstrate compassion as well as scientific proficiency in delivering health care.

The UAB School of Nursing is one of 60 nursing schools selected to receive funding from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to hold a white coat ceremony this year. The foundation, which has sponsored white coat ceremonies at medical schools since 1993, has partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to extend this opportunity to nursing schools. Launched last year, this groundbreaking collaboration between the Foundation and AACN was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

More than 125 incoming students participated in the Sept. 21, 2015 event. White coat ceremonies mark a special milestone in the health-care field signifying each student’s commitment to quality, compassionate, interprofessional patient care. White coat ceremonies have been ritual for medical students for decades, but in recent years these ceremonies have encompassed other fields including dental, optometry and nursing to emphasize the importance of holistic care.

The White Coat Ceremony consists of the recitation of an oath, the cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests. Students also were given a specially designed pin that serves as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care.

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN, addressed the students. Moneyham, who is a pioneer in HIV research and was a first-generation college student, addressed the students and emphasized how the diversity of the communities and experiences they represent inform them in their role as health care providers and can improve the lives of the patients and families they serve. She also stressed the critical role nurses play on the interprofessional care team, and the importance of health care professionals working together to produce better clinical outcomes for patients.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF): As a growing not-for-profit organization we have a critical mission: to optimize the experience and outcomes of health care for both patients and practitioners by promoting care that is as humane as it is technologically sophisticated. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation works with healthcare professionals in training and in practice to instill a culture of respect, dignity and compassion for patients and professionals. When skilled practitioners build caring, trusting and collaborative relationships with patients, study after study reveals more appropriate medical decisions, better patient adherence with treatment plans, and less costly healthcare outcomes. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 765 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions 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
Last modified on March 19, 2019

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