Sixty Nursing Schools Selected to Participate in a National Initiative Focused on Promoting Compassionate Care

WASHINGTON, DC, August 13, 2015 — Today, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced that 60 schools of nursing were selected to receive funding support to host White Coat Ceremonies, which emphasize the importance of providing compassionate care among health professionals. Launched last year, this ground-breaking collaboration between APGF and AACN was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

“A growing body of research shows that compassionate care is linked to superior patient outcomes, lower levels of provider burnout, and higher satisfaction among all members of the healthcare team,” said Dr. Richard Levin, President and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. “We are delighted to join with AACN to help foster a commitment to compassionate care among nursing students at the start of their clinical education.”

Though White Coat Ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for more than 20 years, the APGF-AACN initiative marks the first time a coordinated effort has been developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing. Last year, 100 nursing schools in 43 states plus the District of Columbia received financial support and guidance to offer a White Coat Ceremony, which typically consists of the recitation of an oath, the cloaking of students in a white coat, an address by an eminent role model, and a reception for students and invited guests. Students also were given a specially designed pin that serves as a visual reminder of their oath and commitment to providing high quality care. This year, 60 new nursing schools in 33 states plus the District of Columbia were selected to receive funding to inaugurate their own White Coat Ceremony in Fall 2015. View the listing of schools selected to participate in this year.

“As the healthcare provider who spends the most time with patients, nurses must embrace the need to provide compassionate care as an essential element of their professional practice,” said Dr. Eileen T. Breslin, AACN President. “With health care becoming more patient-centered and team-driven, nurses, physicians, and other providers must embed humanism in their practice as a way to elevate the patient care experience and improve care outcomes.”

For more information about this program, contact AACN project manager Shelley McKearney at smckearney@aacn.nche.edu.

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