On the journey to become a nurse, there’s a new rite of passage. This past Friday, 70 sophomore nursing students were cloaked and pinned before their faculty and families during the inaugural “white coat ceremony” in Durham.
At white coat ceremonies, future healthcare professionals commit to provide their patients with compassionate care. A long–time tradition at medical schools, the ceremonies have not been part of most nursing programs until this year. UNH was one of a hundred U.S. nursing schools to be selected by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Arnold B. Gold Foundation to hold a white coat ceremony.
Following addresses by College of Health and Human Services dean Mike Ferrara and nursing department chair Gene Harkless, the future nurses recited an oath and then took the stage to receive their white lab coats and pins. The pins serve as a visual reminder of the students’ commitment to high-quality care.
Reflecting on the new ritual, Harkless says, “The ceremony provided time and space to reflect on the nature of the nurse-patient relationship and to pledge to uphold the trust that patients place in us. It was a successful event and we look forward to next year’s.”