More than 60 first-year students in UCLA Nursing’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Program received their white coats on Saturday, May 14, a tradition to symbolize entering advanced clinical practicum with compassion, care, and collaboration while applying knowledge and skills.
Faculty led student nurses, in front of their families, friends, and invited guests, through the International Pledge for Nurses, signifying their responsibility for patient-centered care and their roles as leaders in health care.
“The white coat means to place yourself into the service of others – patients, their families, and communities from diverse backgrounds, and to serve them with knowledge, skills, humility, and humanity” said Lin Zhan, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing.
David Casselman, a Los Angeles-based philanthropist and trial lawyer who has spent years generously supporting nurses through the Muriel Casselman Humanism Award at UCLA, delivered the afternoon’s keynote address. “Nurses are there,” said Casselman. “Patients need the practical and crucial ‘magic’ of nurses, their kindness and their presence.”
Students and attendees also heard from student speaker Shionta Jones. She called on nurses to “integrate social determinants of health in our service and care,” adding that it is “our responsibility to work toward health equity.”
APRN faculty and students also took time to remember their classmate, George Giacobbe, who tragically passed away in November 2021. UCLA Nursing had a white coat created in Giacobbe’s memory and APRN Program Director John Lazar presented it to one of Giacobbe’s classmates and friends, Rina Daghlian. The School of Nursing plan to share the coat to Giacobbe’s family and hopes it can act as a reminder of his impact and passion for nursing.