Berea College has been selected as one of just 100 U. S. schools with nursing programs to participate in a new initiative, White Coat Ceremony, focused on promoting compassionate care among future health professionals. The White Coat Ceremony, funded through The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and endorsed through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), was held Saturday, September 6, in the Woods-Penniman Commons on the Berea campus. Major Romeatrius Nicole Moss, DNP, RN a 2004 Nursing graduate from Berea College, and Executive Director and founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nurse Association, spoke at the ceremony.
Dr. Monica Kennison, Susan V. Clayton Chair of Nursing at Berea College points out the prestigious nature of the White Coat Ceremony. “White Coat Ceremonies have been a longstanding tradition at medical schools whereby students publicly commit to providing compassionate care for all patients. This new collaboration between APGF and AACN marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing.”
In this pilot year, nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia were provided financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony at Berea consisted of the recitation of an oath, cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model, Major Moss, DNP, RN and a reception for students and invited guests. Students also received a specially designed pin that can serve as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care. Berea College is one of just three schools in Kentucky to be selected for the White Coat Ceremony. (Other Kentucky schools are Murray State University and University of Louisville.)