In fitting tribute to the occasion, the sun broke through persistent clouds just as first year students in the SON’s BSN programs took their place for the processional into the School’s second annual White Coat Ceremony held at historic Memorial Hall on Sunday.
The program, emceed by Interim Dean Donna Havens, featured remarks by Dr. Beverly Foster, director of the undergraduate program, and Kathy Moore, assistant dean for student affairs. A moving keynote on the nature of caring was delivered by Vice President of the American Nurses Association, Dr. Ernest Grant, clinical outreach nurse for the Jaycee Burn Unit at UNC Hospitals and adjunct professor for the School of Nursing.
Following the remarks, family, friends and School faculty looked on as first year students in the accelerated BSN and BSN programs were invited to the stage by name.
There to present the students their embroidered coats were Roulhac Johnson, past-president of SON Alumni Association, Angela Hall, treasurer of the SON Foundation, Inc., Marianne Cockroft, chair of the SON’s Baccalaureate Executive Committee, and Julie Page, SON advisor to the General College.
Following the donning of the coats, the students along with nurses in the audience were invited to recite the ceremonial oath to “accept the duties and responsibilities that embody the nursing profession.”
Last year, the UNC School of Nursing was one of only 100 schools of nursing the United States to receive a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing to initiate nursing into the tradition of the white coat ceremony.
The White Coat Ceremony is held at the beginning of the academic year to welcome and initiate each new class of nursing students into the profession and to emphasize humanistic, patient-centered care. The ceremony recognizes the nurse’s responsibility to put the interests of patients first and affirms that this obligation begins on the first day of nursing school and continues throughout the nurse’s career.
Following the ceremony, family and guests gathered at Carrington Hall for an open house and tours.
Sincere thanks to the generous sponsors of this year’s ceremony:
- The Department of Nursing, UNC Hospitals
- UNC Health Care
- Alpha Alpha Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing Alumni Association
- McPherson Cleaners