Mars Hill University to Hold White Coat Ceremony for Nursing Students

Mars Hill University’s Judge-McRae School of Nursing will hold its inaugural White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training, on Thursday, October 3, 2019. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in Broyhill Chapel.

The ceremony is for junior nursing students before they start their first clinical rotation. The students will recite an oath to patient care, then be “cloaked” by Judge-McRae School of Nursing faculty and administrators in the iconic white coat that signifies the students’ status as healthcare professionals.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Arnold P. Gold, M.D., who was a professor and pediatric neurologist. Dr. Gold, a passionate advocate for humanistic healthcare, believed that the oath taken by new physicians at the end of medical school came too late. Through the nonprofit organization that he and his wife, Dr. Sandra Gold, started, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation has expanded the White Coat Ceremony around the globe.

Funding for the Judge-McRae School of Nursing’s inaugural ceremony was provided by the Gold Foundation through the generous support of its trustee and donor Elaine Adler. Mars Hill was among 50 nursing schools selected in 2019 to launch their first White Coat Ceremony.

Today, nearly every medical school in the United States, hundreds of nursing schools, and many other health profession schools around the globe participate in this tradition of humanistic care.

“The trust and communication created with a patient is a defining factor in the path to healing,” said Dr. Richard Levin, President and CEO of The Gold Foundation. “The White Coat Ceremony reinforces the importance of a deep human connection as students begin their journey to patients and modern healthcare.”

The Gold Foundation champions the human connection in healthcare. The foundation engages schools and their students, health systems, companies, and individual clinicians in the joy and meaning of humanistic healthcare, so that patients and their families can be partners in collaborative, compassionate and scientifically excellent care.