NNU Awarded Funding Support for White Coat Ceremony

Published on Dec 07, 2016.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing selected 50 schools of nursing across the nations to receive funding support to host White Coat Ceremonies.   The Nursing Department at Northwest Nazarene University was the only school in Idaho selected to receive this funding.  The focus of the White Coat Ceremony is to introduce students early in their professional formation with to the commitment to humanistic, patient-centered care in nursing.  Nursing is joining the growing number of other health professions that offer “cloaking” ceremonies to those beginning their health care studies.

NNU’s White Coat Ceremony was held on September 26th, 2016 in the Swayne Auditorium in the Brandt Center.   Cynthia (Cy) Gearhard RN, MN, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services spoke to the attendees about Cultivating Compassion.  She outlined the importance of being compassionate to oneself.  Without self-compassion, nurses might not be prepared to be compassionate to patients, family and others.

Dr. Barbara Lester shared the history of nursing at Northwest Nazarene University.  She noted that the Nursing Program was founded on the philosophy of developing the head, heart and hands of compassion and caring as a part of the education that student receive at NNU.

Forty-four sophomores received a specially designed pin during the ceremony from a senior nursing student.  The pin serves as a visual reminder of the student’s commitment to provide high quality care to their patients.  The sophomores were also given copies of Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing book as a gift.  Senior nursing student, Michael Wherry lead the sophomore nursing students as they recited the following Commissioning Pledge:

As a Nurse dedicated to providing the highest quality care and services, I solemnly pledge that I will:
  • Consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns;
  • Act in a compassionate and trustworthy manner;
  • Provide the highest standard of care to my patients, remembering that I represent Christ in all my interactions with those entrusted to my care;
  • Apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients;
  • Exercise sound professional judgment while abiding by legal and ethical requirements;
  • Accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence;
  • Promote, advocate for, and strive to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient.
 With this pledge, I accept the duties and responsibilities that embody the nursing profession.
I take this oath voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF): A growing, international not-for-profit organization with a critical mission: to optimize the experience and outcomes of health care for both patients and practitioners by promoting care that is as humane as it is technologically sophisticated. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation works with physicians in training and in practice, as well as other members of the healthcare team, to instill a culture of respect, dignity and compassion for patients and professionals. When skilled practitioners build caring, trusting and collaborative relationships with patients, study after study reveals more appropriate medical decisions, better patient adherence with treatment plans, and less costly healthcare outcomes. Learn more at
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 790 schools of nursing with baccalaureate and/or graduate degrees nationwide. AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.

About the Department

The Department of Nursing at Northwest Nazarene University provides undergraduate, degree completion and graduate programs related to the professional field of nursing. We are nationally accredited and offer programs that can meet the needs of students in a wide variety of settings.