Davenport holds first white coat ceremony for its nurse practitioner students


Twenty-four students in Davenport University’s nurse practitioner program gathered with friends and family in the Sneden Auditorium on April 23 for a very special occasion: Davenport’s first White Coat Ceremony. 

“Instituting a white coat ceremony for nurses creates a greater sense of community and acknowledges the great patient care that Davenport’s MSN-educated nurses provide,” said Jess Abernathy, Davenport’s MSN program director.

The highly symbolic ceremony has become a right of passage for medical and advanced practice nursing students and signifies their entrance into the clinical portion of their advanced education.

During the ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student’s shoulders, and they recite an oath to provide patients with humanistic, compassionate, collaborative, and scientifically excellent care.

“It was an honor to be a part of Davenport University’s very first White Coat Ceremony and a privilege to participate in the tradition that signifies an induction into the profession of health care providers,” said Ciara Huizenga, a Davenport MSN family nurse practitioner student. “To me, this ceremony symbolizes a commitment to providing excellent, individualized health care to each person who entrusts me with their care in the future. Being someone’s healthcare provider is both a great opportunity and an immense responsibility.”

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation established this tradition in 1993 at Columbia University to recognize nursing students for their achievements. In 2014, the Gold Foundation began partnering with nursing schools worldwide to hold White Coat and Oath ceremonies. 

According to Amy Stahley, dean of the College of Health Professions, the next step for these newly cloaked students is to begin their clinical rotations. 

 Click here for more information on Davenport University’s nurse practitioner program.



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