Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) recently held its first Arnold P. Gold Foundation-American Association of Colleges of Nursing (Gold-AACN) White Coat Ceremony with more than 70 accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) students to celebrate Commitment to Excellence.
DUSON was one of 50 schools of nursing across the nation and one of two schools of nursing in North Carolina to receive funding support to host White Coat Ceremonies, which emphasize the importance of providing compassionate care among health professionals.
Since 2011, the School of Nursing has held Commitment to Excellence ceremonies that allowed students to commit to a pathway of excellence in nursing in front of faculty, staff, family, friends, and members of the community. The DUSON ceremony is intended to foster a sense of community and establish a transitional experience supporting nursing students as they begin their clinical rotations.
During the ceremony, ABSN students make a pledge that is central to the ceremony:
As a nurse, I commit myself to care for each person's needs in a holistic way that is both individualized and compassionate. I commit to serving both the individual, and the family, helping them attain and maintain optimal health and well-being. I will be accepting and will not judge an individual's values and beliefs. I commit to working collaboratively with other members of the health care team to provide quality, evidence based care.
Brigit Carter, PhD, RN, CCRN, ABSN program director, delivered the welcome and introductions; Duke University Hospital President and DUSON Alumni Kevin Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN, delivered thoughts on excellence, Chair of the ABSN program committee Michelle Hartman, DNP, RN, NP, introduced the student speaker, and ABSN student Whitney Messer delivered the student address.
This year's ceremony allowed the nursing school to join the growing number of health professions that offer "cloaking" ceremonies, including dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and physician assistants among other disciplines. White Coat Ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for more than 20 years, the APGF-AACN initiative marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing.