GARDEN CITY, NY — December 2015 — On Friday, October 23, 2015, nearly 90 Adelphi University nursing students stood on the stage of the Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom of the Ruth S. Harley University Center to receive their own white coat as part of Adelphi’s first annual First Annual Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony. The event marks the transition from the student’s general education to their clinical education and in many respects represents the beginning of their careers in healthcare.
Jane White, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Nursing and Public Health, delivered the keynote address for the event. White reminded the students that “nursing is a privilege,” and pointed out the tremendous trust placed in them by patients. “Patients value nurses and remember their compassion,” said White. “Nursing is described as the most trusted profession in healthcare,” she added.
After White spoke, the students were called up individually by name to have their coat placed on them by a member of the faculty. The students all proudly stood up while wearing their coat, and collectively recited an oath that completed the ceremony.
Patrick Coonan, dean of the Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health spoke in detail about the ceremony and responsibility of being a nurse. “We want them to wear the white coat so they really think about what they’re doing,” said Coonan. “They’re not going into just any profession, nurses care for people, they need to be compassionate and empathetic, and that white coat is a constant reminder that that’s what they need to be.”
Students receiving their white coats were elated about the honor that signals their lifelong commitment to the healthcare field and advancement. For Tyler Wray-Harvey and Kaitlyn Guarneri of Valley Stream, this moment was more than just a simple ceremony. Wray-Harvey comes from a family of nurses, and to him this represented his chance to follow in their footsteps. “After this I’ll feel like I’ll be even closer to them,” he said. Meanwhile for Guarneri this day is a literally a dream come true. “My goal was to get my own white coat before I turned 30, so I’m excited to be getting it at 24,” she said.
Coonan believes that this ceremony truly represents the full realization of their decision to study nursing. “They come to college and spend two years doing nothing relating to nursing, and now they move into a world where they actually get to take care of people,” said Coonan. “And the ceremony really gives them a symbol of that change.”
Sponsored by the Arnold T. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Adelphi’s first annual Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony was one of only 60 ceremonies hosted at a school of nursing this year. While White Coat Ceremonies have been hosted by medical schools for over 20 years, last year the APFG-AACN program marked the first time a coordinated effort had been developed to host comparable events at schools of nursing.
For more information about Adelphi’s College of Nursing and Public Health, please visit their website.
About Adelphi University
New York’s Adelphi University is a nationally ranked, doctoral research university where students succeed by gaining the skills, knowledge and exposure to thrive as professionals and active citizens in an interconnected and fast-paced global society. Today, nearly 8,000 students from 38 states and 46 countries pursue degrees in person and online through Adelphi’s eight distinguished schools and programs—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, the Honors College, the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business, the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, University College, the College of Nursing and Public Health and the School of Social Work. Chartered in 1896, Adelphi is known for offering a personalized education—one is which students are mentored by talented and committed faculty members and readily find opportunities to initiate, innovate, explore and understand. With dynamic learning hubs on Long Island, in Manhattan and in the Hudson Valley, Adelphi serves communities, both regionally and globally, through the research and practice of its faculty, the collaborative initiatives undertaken by its centers and programs, the staging of distinguished cultural events and, most essentially, the education of future leaders and informed citizens.