Longwood holds inaugural white coat ceremony

Published 11:39 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Longwood University’s Department of Nursing held their inaugural Gold-AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) White Coat Ceremony for sophomore nursing students in Blackwell Ballroom on Friday.

The white coat ceremony symbolizes an important milestone in the educational career for the nursing students — entering the stage of clinical practice.

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Dr. Deborah Ulmer, the chair of the university’s nursing department, said, “We are deeply honored to have received one of 60 grants awarded nationwide this year in only the second year of the partnership between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation,” said Ulmer.

She said the white coat ceremony was designed to welcome new students into the medical profession.

“Today this ceremony emphasizes the importance of compassionate care, as well as scientific proficiency,” Ulmer said.

During the ceremony, students were draped in white nursing coats by upperclassmen and received a pin symbolizing their accomplishment.

Cynthia Crews, JoAnn Davis, Theresa Kennon and Dr. Lisa Minor assisted the presentation of white coats and pins. The ceremony continued with the White Coat Oath, which reflected the integrity and responsibilities associated with the nursing profession.

Dr. Terris E. Kennedy, an adjunct professor of nursing at Old Dominion University, was the keynote speaker for the event.

During the address, Kennedy said, “You can’t help but to be excited and impressed by this gathering.” Kennedy said that hospitals and clinical settings can be very dangerous places and “it is our responsibility in caring for and about patients is not only to provide that care but to be sure they are safe in that environment,” she said.

A press release from the AACN explained that schools funded to host a Gold-AACN White Coat ceremony “ receive $1,000 in financial support to host a ceremony, which typically features the recitation of an oath, receipt of a commemorative pin, an address by an eminent role model and a reception for students and invited guests. The specially designed pin will serve as a visual reminder of the students’ oath and commitment to provide compassionate and high quality care.”