Inaugural Nursing White Coat Ceremonies Held at Kent State

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Spring 2023 – Vol. VII, Issue 1

Kent State University College of Nursing held five inaugural BSN White Coat Ceremonies at the Geauga, Kent, Salem, Stark and Trumbull campuses and one ABSN ceremony at the Kent campus during the spring 2023 semester. More than 200 sophomore BSN nursing students and 13 ABSN students who were recently admitted into the professional nursing sequence in their first semester of the nursing program at the Kent campus participated in the events.

While not new to the medical profession, the White Coat Ceremony is relatively new to nursing. Established in 1993 at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the White Coat Ceremony is meant to emphasize humanism in medicine at the very start of a student’s medical education. In 2014, The Gold Foundation partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to adapt the ceremony for nursing in recognition of the vital role nurses play on the healthcare team.

“While it may take different forms, this rite of passage ceremony emphasizes the importance of humanistic patient care, defined as compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent healthcare, early in nursing training and professional identity formation,” said Versie Johnson-Mallard, Ph.D., RN, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, College of Nursing Dean and Henderson Endowed Chair.

Following the video remarks of keynote speaker Rear Admiral Aisha K. Mix, students donned their white coats and recited the pledge, after which a faculty member read a blessing of the hands.

The Kent campus ceremonies included a live stream component. Students’ families and friends joined the events virtually from four countries and 27 states.

Read a recap of the regional campus White Coat ceremonies by visiting

WKBN27 News was on hand for the Trumbull ceremony. Watch their coverage of the event by visiting


View the video slideshow of the BSN ceremonies below.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 14, 2023 01:11 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 12:56 PM
Mariah Gibbons