On Friday, September 10, the Western New Mexico University School of Nursing is hosting its White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training. The ritual will begin at 2 p.m. in Light Hall Auditorium.
“Nurses are integral to patient survival, and we witnessed this to an even greater extent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite fears, risks and the unknown, nurses keep caring and keep working. By accepting the white coat, our nursing students demonstrate that they are entering our noble profession and will persevere too,” said WNMU School of Nursing & Kinesiology Associate Dean Dr. Kimberly Petrovic.
With family and friends as witnesses, 31 nursing students will recite an oath to patient care.
As the Level 1 professors, WNMU School of Nursing faculty members Krista Wood and Erin Wood will cloak each student in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as healthcare professionals.
The cohort, expected to graduate in Fall 2023, will be addressed by guest speaker Amanda Mondello, who is a registered nurse and an alumna of the university’s pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. While in school, Mondello was Student Nurses Association officer and a cohort representative. She graduated in 2019 with honors, receiving the WNMU Academic Excellence and Spirit of Nursing awards. Mondello works as a nurse in the intensive care unit at Gila Regional Medical Center, where she is also a preceptor to new hire nurses and nursing students. She also serves as the secretary for the hospital’s Code Team Committee. A wife and mother, Mondello is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing.
The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Arnold P. Gold, MD, who was a professor and pediatric neurologist with a belief that the oath taken by new physicians at the end of medical school came too late. Through the nonprofit organization that he and his wife, Dr. Sandra Gold, started, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation has expanded the White Coat Ceremony around the globe. Today, WNMU School of Nursing joins in this tradition of humanistic care.
“Extending this rite of passage, traditionally reserved for medical students, to WNMU nursing students recognizes the vital role nurses play in healthcare,” Krista Wood said. “Nurses are caregivers, teachers, advocates and leaders in society. We hope this white coat ceremony will instill pride in students beginning their journey into this profession.”
The WNMU White Coat Ceremony is being made possible with support from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.