Published on August 12, 2014 by Katie Stripling  

Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing will receive funding to pilot White Coat Ceremonies for nursing students. White Coat Ceremonies are designed to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals and they have long been an important rite of passage at medical schools. This program marks the first coordinated effort to offer similar events at schools of nursing.

Samford is one of only 100 nursing schools in 43 states selected by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for this groundbreaking initiative. Samford is the only Alabama school on the list.

According to Joy Whatley, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the nursing school, the White Coat Ceremony program was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among incoming nursing students.

“The purpose of this program aligns perfectly with the core values of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing,” said Whatley. “Our school was founded on the pillars of academic excellence, compassion, caring and service. The White Coat Ceremony’s emphasis on patient-centered care across the health care team, aligns perfectly with the values we instill in our students.”  

Samford will host its first White Coat Ceremony for undergraduate nursing students on Oct. 6. Both accelerated second degree students and traditional nursing students beginning clinical courses will participate in the inaugural event. As a part of the ceremony, students will receive their white coats, recite the Nightingale pledge and receive a commemorative pin. Nursing dean Eleanor Howell will be speaker for the event.     

Following the pilot program, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation 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.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.