HPU to Hold First White Coat Ceremony for Nursing Program

September 04, 2014

HPU has one of the largest baccalaureate nursing programs in Hawai'i.
HPU has one of the largest nursing programs in Hawai'i.

HONOLULU — Hawai'i Pacific University (HPU) will hold its first White Coat Ceremony for its nursing program on Sept. 29, as part of a national pilot program. This ceremony, which will be held at the Hawaii Loa Campus, is designed to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals.

"Schools of medicine have been conducting White Coat Ceremonies for over 20 years. By participating in this pilot, nurse educators will gain valuable information about the impact of the ceremony on role development in nursing students," said Dr. Lynette Landry, dean of HPU's College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

HPU was among the institutions chosen by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to receive funding support to pilot White Coat Ceremonies. Funded by APGF Trustee Elaine Adler and her husband Mike, co-founders of the Adler Aphasia Center, this groundbreaking program was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among incoming nursing students this fall.

In this pilot year, nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia are being provided financial support and guidance to offer the ceremony, which will consist of the recitation of an oath, cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model. The keynote speaker for HPU's ceremony will be alumna and adjunct faculty member Amy Thomas, of Hawaii Pacific Health.

A reception for students and invited guests will be provided. Students also will receive a specially designed pin that will serve as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care.

"By having a ceremony such as this, students commit themselves to placing the patient front and center as they plan interventions to promote health and healing," Landry said. "Students also commit to provide safe patient care that is based on the best evidence available. This ceremony demonstrates that nursing plays an integral role in the provision of health care across care settings."

HPU has one of the largest baccalaureate nursing programs in Hawai'i and continues to play a critical role in meeting the growing nursing needs of hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities around the state. In addition to its degree programs, the college offers specialized certificates in transcultural nursing and forensic nursing. HPU's undergraduate and graduate nursing programs are certified by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).