UND Nursing Welcomes Class of 2017 with Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing


Alyssa Walker

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


The white coat in the medical profession signifies that the person wearing the coat is a medical professional. On Thursday, November 19th, the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines cloaked the Nursing class of 2017 with their traditional white coats at the Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony thus officially welcoming them into the medical profession.

This is the first year that the University of North Dakota has conducted a white coat ceremony to usher in the newest class of nurses. The White Coat ceremony began with a traditional processional with accompanying music by the UND string quartet. President Kelley welcomed parents, family, and friends to the event and gave sound advice to the nursing students. Next, Dean Roux made opening remarks and welcomed keynote speaker, Dr. Kathleen Sawin, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Sawin, who has a long career as a Nurse Practitioner, faculty member, and spina bifida researcher, told the students to get involved in the profession and to learn how to manage their own health and self-care while practicing. Next, the audience members cheered as their student’s name was called by Nursing Student Association president, Danielle Kelliher, and they crossed the stage and were cloaked in their white coat by Dean Gayle Roux. Clinical Assistant Professor, Lucy Heintz lead the students in the Nurse’s Oath and the event concluded with a recessional.

A reception followed the ceremony. Ceremony attendees took photos, drank coffee, and ate desserts as they commended their nursing student for their decision to make a career in nursing.

The White Coat Ceremony was sponsored by a partnership between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. UND was one of hundreds of schools which were selected to host a White Coat Ceremony for new nursing students this fall.