Molloy College holds its First White Coat Ceremony for Nursing Students

The Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing at Molloy College hosted its inaugural White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the beginning of clinical education. Dr. Marcia Gardner, Dean of the Barbara H. White Coat Ceremony at Molloy CollegeHagan School of Nursing, explains that, "as students enter the clinical sequence of our nursing program, they accept the profound obligation to provide the highest quality, evidence-informed, and compassionate nursing care to ensure the safety and welfare of individuals, families, communities, and populations, with the guidance of their nursing faculty. Our white coat ceremony offers the opportunity for students to reflect on this obligation, and marks their transition to the clinical nursing role"

Students beginning clinical courses in the upcoming semester participated in the ceremony, took an oath to compassionate patient care, and received a pin from the Gold foundation reflecting their commitment to compassionate care. The keynote address was given by Valerie Terzano, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President for Nursing at NYU Winthrop Hospital, who welcomed the next generation of nurses as they join the most trusted profession in the country and commented on the profound symbolism of the ceremony as students enter professional practice. Ms. Terzano notes that "despite changes in healthcare delivery systems, advances in technology and ever-changing regulatory requirements, the need for compassionate and patient-centered care that values connections with the patient, their family, and the care team continues to be the primary focus of the nurse."

White Coat Ceremony at Molloy CollegeThe 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 the inaugural ceremony at the Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing, Molloy College, was provided by the Gold Foundation through the generous support of its trustee and donor Elaine Adler. The Hagan School of Nursing was among 50 nursing schools selected in 2018 to launch their first 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

White Coat Ceremony at Molloy College White Coat Ceremony at Molloy College

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