Allen College

Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing


On Friday, September 20, Allen College hosted its fall 2019 white coat ceremonies for Bachelor of Science in Nursing students. White coat ceremonies are a rite of passage held at the start of training in order to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care.

Together a total of 71 students participated in either the traditional or accelerated track ceremony. “The ceremony occurs early in the semester of the students’ first clinical course to highlight the significance of their role as they begin to care for patients,” explains Dr. Kendra Williams-Perez, Dean of Allen College’s School of Nursing.

Students came forward during the ceremony to be “cloaked” before family and friends in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as healthcare professionals. Prior to the cloaking, students recited an oath to patient care. Each student was also presented with a ceremonial pin and a hand-written note from an Allen College alumnus.

A keynote speech was given by 1999 Allen graduate Dr. Erin Martin, who is the current Associate Director of Mayo Clinic Nurse Anesthesia Practice. Dr. Martin’s speech reflected upon the honor and responsibility of being a nurse. “Recognize that every person you come into contact with has something to teach you,” she emphasized. “Recognize that nursing is not just a job but a career. It’s a calling. It’s a privilege.”

Each ceremony lasted about an hour and was followed by a reception with light refreshments. Approximately 200 guests attended and both events were livestreamed on Allen College’s Facebook page, where they received over 1,000 views.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University by professor and pediatric neurologist, Arnold P. Gold, MD. Today, nearly every medical school in the US as well as hundreds of nursing and health professional schools participate in this tradition.

This year, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation very generously provided support through a grant and supplied pins for our students. For more information about the White Coat Ceremony and the Gold Foundation, visit