Historically, graduating students have been welcomed into the nursing profession with a pinning, said Peggy MacKay, a lecturer in the UNC Charlotte School of Nursing. But faculty in the school wanted to do a little more for the graduates to formally usher them into the field.
The result was a White Coat Ceremony. Each semester, graduates receive a white coat to symbolize their embarking upon their careers as nurses. MacKay said faculty members write notes of encouragement to place in the pockets of each jacket.
“We do see it as emblematic of the profession and welcoming them into the fold,” MacKay said.
The School of Nursing is crowdfunding to raise money for the 2019 White Coat Ceremony; donations will pay for the coats, refreshments and offset other costs of the ceremony. Students’ family and friends are invited to the celebration, which will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, in the Popp Martin Student Union. Ann Mabe Newman ’78 will be the guest speaker.
MacKay said more than 90 students will receive bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing. Approximately 400 people are expected to attend the May 8 ceremony, which will include a presentation of student awards by faculty members.