white coatDoctors won’t be the only ones receiving white coats in a formal ceremony these days. As part of their orientation, the incoming students at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing will be participating in a White Coat Ceremony as part of a national ground-breaking pilot program this fall. The purpose of the cloaking ceremony is to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals entering nursing schools. More than 100 schools of nursing were selected to hold the white coat ceremonies.

The program, supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the (AACN), seeks to create a new link between nurses and physicians through humanism to support patient-centered optimal healthcare in the 21st century.

Elizabeth Tanner, PhD., RN and associate professor at the Hopkins School of Nursing, was instrumental in bringing the ceremony to Johns Hopkins. “As a leading school of nursing, it was important that we were included in this pilot program,” she said. “This ceremony sends a strong message of furthering team collaboration in the healthcare field and delivering optimal patient-centered health, as a team. It’s especially symbolic that they receive this [white coat] at the beginning of their professional journey because they will start out with a mind set of breaking down walls and working more interprofessionally to meet patients’ needs.”

Though White Coat Ceremonies have been an important rite of passage at medical schools for more than 20 years, this new collaboration between APGF and AACN marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing. In this pilot year, nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia were provided financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony, which will consist of the recitation of an oath, cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests.

The schools of nursing at the University of Maryland and Notre Dame University of Maryland were also selected to participate in the program.

WHAT:    National ground-breaking white coat ceremony
WHEN:    Thursday, August 28, 3014, 3 PM
WHERE:  Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Alumni Auditorium, 525 North Wolfe Street


The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a global leader in nursing research, education, and scholarship. The School and its baccalaureate, master’s, PhD, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are recognized for excellence in educating nurses who set the highest standards for patient care and become innovative national and international leaders. Among U.S. nursing schools, the Hopkins Nursing graduate programs are ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, nursing.jhu.edu.