UIC's College of Nursing Participates in Nationwide White Coat Ceremony Pilot Program

On Saturday, September 27th, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing (CON) hosted its first White Coat Ceremony to cloak and pin 207 of our newest nursing students.  The CON was selected as part of a national pilot program intended to symbolize the student’s life transition into nursing education and affirms their commitment to becoming a professional nurse who provides compassionate and high quality care.   

“We are so pleased to be selected to engage students in this hallmark ceremony as a significant milestone and transition into their life in nursing,” said Dr.  Terri E. Weaver, Dean of the UIC College of Nursing. “Reaction from the CON’s newest students who are involved and our faculty has been overwhelming.”

With the continued healthcare goal of aligning nurses and physicians, the announcement of the pilot project for nurses has indeed been well received.  The White Coat Ceremony has been a tradition for other health professions for the last twenty years but this will be the first time that a coordinated effort has been aligned for nursing schools. 

In this first year, 100 schools, over 43 states plus the District of Columbia, were provided financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony.  Each ceremony will consist of the recitation of the oath, cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students. Students will also receive a specially designed pin that will serve as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing the highest quality care.

Funding for this project, was made possible by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)  specifically APGF Trustee Elaine Adler and her husband Mike, Co-Founders of the Adler Aphasia Center.    Following this year’s pilot program, the APGF and AACN are planning 2015 to be the inaugural year for the nationwide rollout of the White Coat Ceremony to a larger number of nursing institutions. For a listing of schools selected to participate in 2014, its pilot year, see www.aacn.nche.edu/wcc .

UIC College of Nursing Students with their new White Coats

See also write-up in UIC News, "College of Nursing holds first white coat ceremony" (10/30/14).