An important turning point in the education of every nurse occurs at the entry into clinical rotations. As a way to mark this distinctive occasion for the students of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the Health Sciences Campus Ministry team offers a Blessing of Hands ritual and reflection during the program’s annual Clinical Orientation.
During the ritual, faculty members bless the hands of students with oil, a sacred symbol of health, healing, and anointing in many of the world’s major religious traditions. This blessing serves as a reminder of the way that nurses’ hands, in addition to their minds and hearts, serve as key instruments of compassion, care, and healing for their patients. Students are sent into the next stages of their education strengthened with resolve and affirmed in their vocational calling.
The Blessing of Hands is again given at the end of the ABSN program studies, during the Honors and Pinning Ceremony for graduates. Here, students are blessed with oil as they are sent out to serve the human community through their chosen vocation in the profession of Nursing.