Georgia Southern University’s School of Nursing was recently chosen as part of a test program in which 100 schools received funding to pilot their first-ever White Coat Ceremony.
The school celebrated the event on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Performing Arts Center. The ceremony was the result of a collaborative partnership between The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
“Being chosen to participate in the inaugural White Coat Ceremony acknowledges the stellar reputation that the School of Nursing programs at Georgia Southern University have at the national level,” said Jean Bartels, Ph.D., a former nursing colleges association president and the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southern University. “This ceremony places the School of Nursing in elite company and recognizes the program for its historically strong curriculum and accomplished graduates.”
The White Coat Ceremony was initially designed by the Gold Foundation to emphasize the commitment of patient-centered care for incoming physicians to medical school. More than 20 years later, nurses are now a part of the tradition.
“By offering White Coat Ceremonies, our schools are sending a clear message to new nursing students that compassionate care must be a hallmark of their clinical practice,” says association President Eileen T. Breslin. “Securing a commitment to providing patient-centered care at the beginning of a nurse’s professional formation will help to raise the quality of care available to all patients.”
During the ceremony, participants recited an oath committing to high quality care and received a commemorative pin as a reminder of their pledge.
“Nursing has the answers to the predominant health care dilemmas of today and the future,” said Bartels. “I encourage these new nursing students to work hard during their nursing studies to become quality nurses who are prepared for clinical leadership and extremely skilled in outcomes-based practice.”
GSU’s School of Nursing is ranked 19th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for its Family Nurse Practitioner graduate program.
Teresa Cezar, an internal medicine physician located in Baxley, and Southern Peaches Health Services donated the students’ white coats.