Keiser University held an inaugural White Coat Ceremony honoring nurses who are entering the professional phase of their nursing career at a special ceremony in January. The White Coat Ceremony (WCC) is a ground-breaking initiative this year to welcome nursing students to the profession of nursing and provide them with this special ceremony and commemorative pin, in addition to the white coat, to remind them of their commitment to compassionate, patient-centered care. The cloaking with the white coat—one of the mantles of the nursing profession—signifies that the faculty believe in the students’ ability to carry on the noble profession of nursing. The white coats signify their role as a member of the healthcare professional team. The WCC has been a staple of medical schools since 1993 and has been adopted by Keiser University as an annual event for all those entering the nursing profession at the baccalaureate and graduate levels.

Florida Nurses Association President, Ed Briggs, PhD, ARNP, was in attendance as keynote speaker and encouraged all nurses and nursing students, as professionals, to get involved and advocate for issues important to nursing and healthcare. Vicki Coombs, PhD, RN, FAHA, spoke about the significance of the white coats and the important contribution nurses make to health care and their patients every day.

The White Coat Ceremony was funded by the Author B. Gold Foundation Trustee Elaine Adler and her husband, Mike, who provided a grant to support this ground-breaking initiative for the nursing profession. Keiser University was one of three university’s in the state of Florida to receive this grant and one of only 100 schools nationwide.

RN to BSN students participating in the White Coat Ceremony included Tiffany Imes, Armando Vera, Wilkinscia Jean Philippe, Ange Das, Samuel Kerr, Michelle Husslein, and Islande Chery. A ceremonial white coat oath was recited at the end of the ceremony to solidify the student’s commitment to the profession. Keiser University’s RN to BSN program is conducted 100% online and is a degree completion program for registered nurses with an Associate degree or a diploma in nursing.  Students who live outside the Ft. Lauderdale area participated in the White Coat Ceremony virtually via a live webcast.