The UAH College of Nursing’s first-ever white coat ceremony was held Nov. 4 in the Chan Auditorium, thanks to funding received from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

Michael Mercier | UAH

First-semester upper-division students in the College of Nursing at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) marked the beginning of their professional journey with a White Coat Ceremony held on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. in Chan Auditorium. A reception for the honored students and guests followed the ceremony, the first of its kind for the College.

During the ceremony, a total of 115 students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program received embroidered white coats to symbolize their commitment to the profession and to providing compassionate care. They then recited an oath in which they committed themselves to providing quality safe patient-centered care in interprofessional teams.

The event was emceed by Dr. Karen Frith, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, and a keynote address was presented by Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, Dean of the College of Nursing. Assisting with the donning of the white coats and pinning were Melissa Baginski, Mary Bonilla, Anne Dilliard, and Dr. Beth Barnby. Laura Mann, Janiece Smith, Melonie Drewyor, Charles Davis, and Lisa Thomas were also instrumental in the event's success.

The white coat ceremony was originally designed by pediatric oncologist Arnold Gold, who called the white coat a "cloak of compassion." It is meant to welcome new students into their chosen health care profession and to establish the expectation that students demonstrate compassion as well as scientific proficiency in delivering medical care.

UAH's College of Nursing was able to host this inaugural one thanks to funding received from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which has sponsored white coat ceremonies at medical schools since 1993. In partnering with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to extend the opportunity to nursing schools, the foundation hopes to symbolically demonstrate the value of all members of the health care team.

"The faculty, staff, and students were honored to have our College selected as one of the 60 schools of nursing across the country to participate in the second round of nursing white coat ceremonies supported by the Gold Foundation and AACN," says Dean Adams. "The white coat is a cloak reflecting the UAH College of Nursing's core values of integrity, inspiration, caring, excellence, and wellness."



UAH’s College of Nursing

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