BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Media Advisory) — Nearly 100 freshmen Florida Atlantic University nursing students recently took part in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s first-ever white coat ceremony at the Boca Raton campus. FAU was one of only four universities in Florida, and 100 nationwide, to receive funding for this ceremony through a joint initiative of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
These pilot white coat ceremonies were designed “to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals” and “to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among incoming nursing students,” according to the APGF, themes that closely align with the College of Nursing’s caring-centered approach to the nursing profession.
“The white coat ceremony was a very meaningful event that marked special milestones for our University, College and students,” said Marlaine Smith, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing. “We are grateful to the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for including us in this movement in modern nursing education.”
In addition to being the first nursing white coat ceremony of its kind at FAU, the College also welcomed its first class of freshmen nursing students this fall as part of the College’s new freshman-direct admission program, which allows outstanding freshmen to begin their nursing studies immediately, while in their first semester at FAU.
Though white coat ceremonies have been a common tradition for medical students over the last two decades, the events are rare for nursing schools. Students recited an oath to the profession and received white coats, commemorative pins provided by the APGF and Nightingale lamps, a symbol of Florence Nightingale’s image of “the lady with the lamp,” signifying the light that nursing brings to the darkness of suffering, vulnerability and despair.
The ceremony included a keynote address by Angela Prestia, chief nursing officer of Good Samaritan Medical Center. Also in attendance at the ceremony were FAU Provost Gary Perry and members of the College of Nursing Advisory Board.
The APGF is a public, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that emphasizes humanistic medical care and works with healthcare professionals to foster a culture of respect, dignity and compassion for patients and professionals. The foundation was established in 1988 by Arnold Gold, MD, Sandra Gold, Ed.D. and their colleagues at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.