School of Nursing Receives Grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

Jersey City, N.J. – October 24, 2019 – Saint Peter’s University is proud to announce that the School of Nursing has been awarded a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The grant will provide funding for Saint Peter’s to host the University’s inaugural White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage for nursing students designed to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training. Saint Peter’s was among 50 nursing schools across the country selected in 2018 to receive the grant. The ceremony will be held on Monday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. in the Roy Irving Theatre on the University’s Jersey City campus.

The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Arnold P. Gold, M.D., a professor and pediatric neurologist. Dr. Gold, a passionate advocate for humanistic healthcare, believed 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, nearly every medical school in the United States, hundreds of nursing schools, and many other health profession schools participate in this tradition of humanistic care.

“Saint Peter’s mission is focused on teaching our students to ‘lead compassionately’ and while compassion is important in every field – it is particularly critical in nursing,” said Lauren O’Hare, Ed.D., R.N., dean of the School of Nursing. “We are honored to receive this grant from the Gold Foundation because it will serve as a tangible reminder to our students to carry the Saint Peter’s mission with them from the classroom on throughout their careers.”

Thirty-four sophomores will come forward during the ceremony to take an oath that acknowledges their primary role as caregivers and be “cloaked” in the iconic white coat that signifies their status as healthcare professionals. The students will also receive “Keeping Healthcare Human” lapel pins, which serve as a visual reminder to students that in order to deliver the best care to their patients, compassion and empathy must be the hallmark of their clinical practice.

“The trust and communication created with a patient is a defining factor in the path to healing,” said Dr. Richard Levin, president and CEO of The Gold Foundation. “The White Coat Ceremony reinforces the importance of a deep human connection as students begin their journey to patients and modern healthcare.”

The grant awarded to Saint Peter’s from the Gold Foundation was made possible through the generous support of the Foundation’s trustee and donor, Elaine Adler. It was administered through a partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). For more information about the White Coat Ceremony and the Gold Foundation, please visit

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