College of Health and Society Holds White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2022

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The Department of Nursing hosted its White Coat Ceremony on September 28, 2020. The ceremony, a rite of passage for nursing students, emphasizes the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony this year was held virtually and included approximately 40 students and their family and friends and faculty, totaling more than 100 individuals online. 

The new Nursing students recited an oath with a commitment to humanistic – compassionate, collaborative, and scientifically excellent – patient care. They donned their white coats, signifying their status as healthcare professionals. 

A national keynote speech, organized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, was delivered by Rep. Lauren Underwood, a registered nurse and U.S. Congresswoman representing Illinois’ 14th District.  Underwood has served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and taught future nurse practitioners through Georgetown University’s online master’s program.  

The first White Coat Ceremony took place in 1993 at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. At the time, Dr. Arnold Gold, co-founder of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, believed that the oath taken by new physicians at the end of medical school came too late. Through his nonprofit organization dedicated to humanistic care, the program was expanded to include nursing medical schools worldwide.  Hawaii Pacific University was in the first group of nursing schools to begin this tradition. The HPU Nursing faculty are extremely proud of this new cohort of nurses.