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Merrimack Holds First White Coat Ceremony

Briana Alberghini ‘21

Associate Social Media Director 

Merrimack College held its first White Coat Ceremony on January 26, 2020 at the Rogers Center. This inaugural class consisted of 46 nursing students who pledged to be compassionate caregivers to patients all throughout their careers. 

All students wore blue medical scrubs and received their whites coats from Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing Janet Ierardi and Clinical Instructor of Nursing Lauren McDonald during the ceremony. The School of Health Sciences interim Dean Janet Blum led them in the oath to compassionate patient care. These white coats are significant in reminding these students to always be emotionally connected and compassionate towards patients. 

White Coat Ceremonies are an important milestone to all medical students during their first year. The first White Coat Ceremony dates back to 1993, and was held at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Since then many schools in the United States, Canada and other countries have held similar events. Grants from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation supports the event financially in the United States.

According to President Hopey, Merrimack College is “honored to teach the next generation of nurses who will change the future of patient care. The evolving healthcare industry needs compassionate caregivers, patient advocates, leaders, collaborators, critical thinkers and innovators.” 

Students in the nursing program can expect to learn how to think critically in fast-paced health care environments and provide safe, patient-centered care, adapt to emerging and rapidly changing health care settings using cutting-edge technology. 

“Choosing to become a nurse is a selfless decision, and one that should not be taken lightly,” Hopey said. “Each of you has taken the oath to go forth and change the lives of many, and I am proud of each of you for making that decision.”