Traditions and meaning of the White Coat Ceremony continue

Many events have been delayed or postponed during 2020 due to COVID-19 and weather, but a five-year tradition in the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing continued – a symbolic cloaking ceremony which
White Coat with Hale
Dr. Gina Hale cloaking Alliyah Robinson
emphasizes the importance of providing compassionate care among health professionals.

Since 2015, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have funded White Coat Ceremonies to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

“The cloaking ceremony symbolizes the passing of the nursing profession to a future generation who have the responsibility to provide compassionate care with the most up-to-date evidence throughout their careers, leaving the profession better off when they leave than when they began,” said Dr. Cynthia Stinson, chair of the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing and associate professor, who originally submitted the application to host a White Coat Ceremony in 2015.

Though White Coat Ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for nearly 30 years, the APGF-AACN initiative affords similar events at schools of nursing. Now, nursing schools, like LU receive 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
White Coat with Judy Smith
Dr. Judy Smith cloaking Keia Lopez
invited guests.

Although this year’s event was held in compliance with CDC guidelines and students were socially distanced and masked, the traditions of previous years were upheld including the pinning. Students were given a specially designed pin that serves as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high-quality care.

Both the Joanne Gay Dishman School of Nursing and the White Coat Ceremonies emphasize the importance of providing compassionate care to humanity.

“Compassion in nursing takes a nurse from competent care, which includes the required skills and knowledge to treat their patients to outwardly caring through actions and deeds that involve the emotional aspect of the relationship,” said Stinson.

See more about the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing.

Watch LU’s White Coat Ceremony.