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LU among 60 nursing schools selected for national White Coat initiative

Today, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced that Lamar University’s Jo Anne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing is one of 60 schools of nursing selected to receive funding support to host White Coat Ceremonies, which emphasize the importance of providing compassionate care among health professionals. Launched last year, the ground-breaking collaboration between the foundation and the association was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

“A growing body of research shows that compassionate care is linked to superior patient outcomes, lower levels of provider burnout, and higher satisfaction among all members of the healthcare team,” said Dr. Richard Levin, president and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. “We are delighted to join with AACN to help foster a commitment to compassionate care among nursing students at the start of their clinical education.”

Cindy Stinson, interim chair of Lamar University’s nursing department, submitted the application to host a White Coat ceremony at Lamar University because she is a strong advocate for what the occasion can mean to new nursing students.

“It’s very important from the very beginning for nursing students who are entering a profession that requires them to very compassionate and caring,” Stinson said  “Our motto in the department is ‘a spirit of caring – a vision of excellence” so this program is a real opportunity to help our students start with that understanding and to go on to become competent and caring nurses. It’s a real honor to offer this to our students.”

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 has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing. Last year, 100 nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia received financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony, which typically 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. This year, 60 new nursing schools in 33 states plus the District of Columbia were selected to receive funding to inaugurate their own White Coat Ceremony in Fall 2015. To view the listing of schools selected to participate in this year: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/wcc-2015.

“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, AACN president. “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.”

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF): As a growing, international 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 physicians in training and in practice, as well as other members of the healthcare team, 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.

For more information on the Jo Anne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing visit:  http://artssciences.lamar.edu/nursing/index.html