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School of Nursing holds White Coat Ceremony for Class of 2022

Nursing White Passage Rate
Oct 25, 2019

Buckhannon, WV—West Virginia Wesleyan College will host a White Coat Ceremony on November 1, at 6 p.m. in Wesley Chapel.  The ceremony is a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of nursing training.

Dr. Susan Leight, Director of the School of Nursing, noted the importance of the White Coat Ceremony to launch sophomore nursing students into the clinical component of the program. Forty new students will recite an oath to patient care and come forward during the ceremony to be “cloaked” by members of the School of Nursing faculty. Students will be cloaked in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as healthcare professionals.

The keynote speech will be given by Aila Accad, Executive Director, Future of Nursing West Virginia. Accad will address the importance of humanism in health care.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Arnold P. Gold, MD, 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 Wesleyan’s ceremony was provided by the Gold Foundation through the generous support of its trustee and donor Elaine Adler. Wesleyan was among 50 nursing schools selected in 2019 to hold a 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.

For more information about the White Coat Ceremony and the Gold Foundation, visit