SUNY Poly to Host First White Coat Ceremony After National Grant

SUNY Poly to Host First White Coat Ceremony After National Grant

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 09:00
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For Release:         Immediate – December 1, 2016

Contact:                 Dave Dellecese, Public Affairs Specialist ­

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SUNY Poly to Host First White Coat Ceremony After National Grant Selection

Legendary nursing pioneer Loretta Ford to deliver keynote address in Utica December 2


UTICA, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced it will host its first White Coat ceremony for Nursing students on Friday, December 2 at 11 a.m. in the Wildcat Fieldhouse in Utica. The ceremony is made possible through a national grant from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and was one of just 50 grants awarded nationwide.  The ceremony supports SUNY Poly’s commitment to graduating the best nursing students in the healthcare industry and will feature world renowned nursing pioneer Loretta C. Ford as the keynote speaker.

“The White Coat Ceremony is a wonderful way for our nursing students to begin their studies and to make an official commitment to providing high quality care,” said Dr. Bahgat Sammakia, Interim President of SUNY Poly. “The grant supporting this ceremony is a powerful endorsement of SUNY Poly’s nursing programs and our ability to turn today’s students into the healthcare leaders of tomorrow.”

Ford, a nursing icon, will also hold an informal talk with students and answer questions at 10 a.m. that day in the Wildcat Field House.

White Coat Ceremonies for Nursing are held to promote the importance of compassionate, patient-centered care to new nursing students. Students take an oath pledging their commitment to the highest professional standards and receive a commemorative Humanism Lapel Pin, provided by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and AACN.  Schools chosen by AACN to host the ceremonies receive $1,000 in financial support for the event.

“A ceremony such as this is a great source of pride for SUNY Poly, and is a wonderful example of the dedication and commitment undertaken by our students to become the greatest health care providers in the industry.  It is also a wonderful reflection of our faculty as the outstanding educators they are,” said Dr. William Durgin, SUNY Poly Provost.

Keynote speaker Loretta Ford, 95, is the creator and implementer of the first nurse practitioner model and training program.  After embarking on a nursing career in 1942, she is credited with transforming the profession of nursing and making health care more accessible to the general public. Ford holds degrees in Education from the University of Colorado School of Education, and both a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science from the University of Colorado School of Nursing.

“Our students are so fortunate to be able to start their academic careers with the kind of perspective and insight only Ford can provide. White Coat ceremonies are a time honored rite of passage for professional students in the nursing and medical health professions and this will truly be something special for them,” said Nursing and Health Professions Department Chair Dr. Kathleen Rourke. “It signifies their movement from their classroom studies to the clinical arena and demonstrates their readiness to work with patients at an advanced level.”

“The White Coat ceremony is a wonderful affirmation by our students of their commitment to quality care,“ said Dr. Jennifer Klimek-Yingling, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Health Professions. “Proclaiming this dedication to their patients at the inception of their studies, rather than the conclusion of them is a truly meaningful event for our students. Tremendous thanks to the AACN for providing us with the opportunity to host it.”

SUNY Poly’s academic offerings in nursing include: R.N. to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 1+2+1 AAS/BS program in collaboration with St. Elizabeth College of Nursing, and Master of Science degrees in Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration and Nursing Education. SUNY Poly’s undergraduate and graduate nursing programs are registered by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing.






SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners. For information visit