College of Nursing holds first white coat ceremony

Nursing students wearing white coats

The College of Nursing’s first white coat ceremony was a “significant milestone” for students, says dean Terri Weaver. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services


Edward Canto is trading his white Navy uniform for a different kind of white coat.

Canto was one of 207 new nursing students who participated in the college’s first white coat ceremony, funded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

UIC was among 100 nursing schools in the U.S. selected to host a cloaking and pinning ceremony. The white coat ceremony has been a tradition for other health professions for the last 20 years, but this was the first coordinated effort for nursing schools.

“We are so pleased to be selected to engage students in this hallmark ceremony as a significant milestone and transition in their life in nursing,” said nursing dean Terri Weaver. “Reaction from the college’s newest students who are involved and our faculty has been overwhelming.”

At the ceremony, students recited the College of Nursing oath, led by Linda Scott, associate dean for academic affairs. Cynthia Fritschi, assistant professor of biobehavioral health science, was the keynote speaker.

In addition to white coats, students received a specially designed pin to remind them of their oath and commitment to providing the highest quality care.

Canto is beginning his first year in UIC’s master of science program for students with a bachelor’s degree in another field who want to become a registered nurse. He decided on a health care career after serving as a trained combat lifesaver during his deployment in Afghanistan.

“I’m excited to begin nursing school and I was really excited to receive my white coat,” said Canto, who plans to return to the Navy as an officer after graduating in two years. “This is what I’ve been waiting for. I’m living my dream.”


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