UHM Nursing’s First White Coat Pledging Ceremony

At the beginning of the fall semester and as part of new student orientation for incoming undergraduate nursing students, UH Manoa Nursing hosted a new white coat ceremony as part of the traditionally pledging ceremony. New nursing students recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge – a tradition in nursing whereby students make a commitment to practice the profession of nursing with the highest ethical standards and to safeguard and promote health for the entire community. As part of the white coat ceremony, students received a commemorative pin to remind them of their pledge to provide high quality patient-centered care.

students pledge at white coat ceremony

UHM Nursing was selected to be one of 100 nursing schools across the nation to participate in this ground-breaking initiative focused on promotion compassionate care. The pins, hosted continental breakfast, and catered lunch were provided by a grant from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). White coat ceremonies are an important rite of passage at medical schools.  With this new collaboration, the AACN hopes to start a new tradition for nursing schools.

UHM Nursing group photo Students heard from a panel of local nursing leaders who shared their personal career experiences and discussed their passion for nursing. Many spoke about why they chose a career in nursing, provided advice for new students, and shared stories about their patients. The panel discussion was followed by a lively Q&A where students asked questions about work-life balance, employment opportunities, and inquired about qualities leaders looked for in new hires. UH Manoa Nursing would like to thank our panelists: Ken Zeri, President & Chief Professional Officer of Hospice Hawaii; CPT Amber Mayo, RN at Tripler Army Medical Center, Dori Sparlin, RN at State of Hawaii Public Health Nursing; Kunane Wooton, ER Manager at Straub Clinic & Hospital; Glenda Kaalakea, Nursing Director at Straub Clinic & Hospital; and Sharon Smith, Risk Management Coordinator at The Queen’s Medical Center.

For more information about the new student orientation and the white coat pledging ceremony, contact the Office of Student Services at or (808) 956-8939.

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