Nursing program selected to host ceremony

By Student Writer Taylor Simpson

UNA’s Anderson College of Nursing will host a White Coat Ceremony on Sept. 29.

“This will be are our first White Coat ceremony,” said Vicki Pierce, dean of the Anderson College of Nursing, in a university press release.

The White Coat ceremony will honor new students entering the nursing program.

The event is meant to generate enthusiasm for patient centered care and impart greater respect for the nursing profession, Clarissa Hall, UNA assistant professor of Nursing, said in the press release.

UNA and Spring Hill College were the two schools in Alabama to be selected, with 50 total schools in the country selected to receive funding for the event.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing chose 50 schools to receive $1,000 to host the event, according to an article on the Gold Foundation’s website.

Medical schools have conducted White Coat ceremonies for more than 20 years, but this will be the first year, due to these organizations, that an opportunity to offer similar events at nursing schools has been available, according to the university’s press release.

The grant comes from the nursing program’s accrediting body, Pierce said in the university’s press release.

Pierce said it is nice for the university to receive recognition.

The White Coat ceremony will honor new students entering the nursing program.

“It is a symbolic passing of the torch to the future of nursing and welcomes students into the nursing program,” said Hall, in the University’s press release.

In nursing, a White Coat ceremony typically consists of the recitation of an oath, an address by a renowned example of nursing excellence and a reception, according to the university’s press release.

Students will also receive a commemorative pin to serve as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care, according to the press release.

Traditionally, first-year nursing students and their invited guests are able to attend the ceremony.

UNA has not yet announced the speaker for the event.

“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. Juliann Sebastian, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors, in an article on the APG Foundation’s site.

Students said the white coat ceremony could be a positive tradition for the nursing program.

“I’m proud to hear that UNA was chosen to host this event. UNA’s nursing school seems to be doing good things lately and this is just one of them,”said sophomore Nathanial Bullard.

It might motivate students to complete their degrees or achieve better grades, he said.

“A White Coat Ceremony is kind of like a big kickoff to their degree and a congratulations for finally starting nursing school, so that’s going to be encouraging for them,” said Allison Shull, a senior nursing major.

She and her class would have appreciated a ceremony for themselves, she said.

“UNA has been getting a lot of recognition for their nursing program lately and it makes me proud to be a part of it,” Shull said.

Recently, UNA posted the highest NCLEX pass rate out of all the public universities in Alabama.

For more information about UNA’s Anderson College of Nursing: https://www.una.edu/nursing/