The University of Arkansas (U of A) Eleanor Mann School of Nursing held its eighth white coat ceremony last week to celebrate its newest class of nursing students. The tradition was started thanks to a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, and U of A is one of a select group of nursing schools in the US that receives funding for pins that students place on the lapels of their coats.

Susan Patton, direct of the U of A nursing school, tells News.UArk.edu, “This is a rite of passage. Beginning today, instead of learning only in lecture halls and labs, you will transition to the clinical setting where the patient will be your ultimate teacher. The Gold Foundation calls this white coat the cloak of compassion.”

Susan Kristiniak, assistant chief nursing office for Northwest Medical Center-Springdale, welcomed students into the nursing profession at the ceremony. She gave a speech about how nurses impact patient’s lives by giving an example of how she helped establish a “no one dies alone” rule at a community hospital where she worked previously.

More than 100 first-semester students received their white coats at the ceremony, which faculty members helped them put on as they crossed the stage. To learn more about the University of Arkansas’s white coat ceremony to welcome new nursing students, visit here.

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