The Mercy College bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program in Des Moines is Iowa’s only recipient of 2017 funding for a White Coat Ceremony. More than 80 new undergraduate students at Mercy College School of Nursing participated in the school’s first-ever white coat ceremony, a rite of passage that welcomes students into medical professions. The ceremony took place Nov. 10 at St. Ambrose Cathedral in downtown Des Moines.
Mercy College School of Nursing is one of 50 programs across the nation to receive funding for a White Coast Ceremony from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). While White Coat Ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for more than 20 years, this initiative by the AACN and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at nursing schools.
"As the health care providers who spend the most time with patients, nurses must embrace the need to provide compassionate care as an essential element of their professional practice," said Dr. Juliann Sebastian, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. "With health care becoming more patient-centered and team-driven, nurses, physicians, and other providers must embed humanism in their practice as a catalyst for realizing the best possible care outcomes."