Published on February 23, 2018 by Katie Stripling  
Nursing White Coat 2018

Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing hosted its biannual White Coat Ceremony on Monday, Feb. 19 in Samford’s Brock Recital Hall. Thirty-five Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who began clinical courses this semester were honored during the event. Students represented the traditional B.S.N. and the veterans’ B.S.N. programs.

According to nursing dean and vice provost of the College of Health Sciences, Nena F. Sanders, the White Coat Ceremony’s purpose of instilling a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals aligns perfectly with the core values of the School of Nursing and the school’s namesake, the late Ida Vines Moffett.

In her address to the students, Sanders emphasized that the white coat symbolizes an answer to a calling. “Nursing is more than a job—it is a calling to put others’ needs before your own,” she said. Sanders referred to the ceremony as a “hallmark” in their life of a nursing student and she urged the students to remember this moment as they begin carrying out the Moffett legacy of compassionate patient care.

The ceremony included the presentation of a white coat and commemorative pin to each student. The pin serves as a visual reminder of the students’ commitment to providing compassionate, patient-centered care, and of the nursing poem recited during the ceremony. Students were presented their coats by faculty and staff members, Geri Beers, Cynthia Ritter, Jennifer Steele and Angela Wilson.  Assistant professor, Moniaree Jones, led students in the nurse’s poem.

Sanders served as the featured speaker for the event, with class president Allison Shrake offering the invocation and Allison Horne, class chaplain, providing the scripture reading. Professor Ellen Buckner provided closing remarks.

White Coat Ceremonies have long been an important rite of passage at medical schools. In 2014, Samford was selected as 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) to pilot White Coat Ceremonies for nursing students. This program marked the first coordinated effort to offer White Coat events at schools of nursing. The White Coat Ceremony has become a tradition in the Ida Moffett School of Nursing with ceremonies occurring each fall and spring. 


Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing has a rich history as a leader in nursing education, practice and service. The school is founded on the principles and philosophies of legendary nurse Ida Vines Moffett. Graduates from the school have the wisdom, skills and courage to go out into the world and make people’s lives better. The school offers a variety of degree options at the baccalaureate and doctoral levels and graduates consistently pass their certification exams at rates far surpassing national averages. Over the past 95 years, more than 4,000 nurses have graduated from the school and are practicing throughout the United States and around the world. Visit to learn more.


The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF): The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s overarching goal is to create the Gold Standard in healthcare – compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent care – to support clinicians throughout their careers, so the humanistic passion that motivates them at the beginning of their education is sustained throughout their  practice. We strive to ensure that care and respect always govern the relationship between practitioner and patient.

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.