By Jess Marvin
The Healing Presence Ceremony, an annual tradition in NSC’s School of Nursing, is an event many nursing students, faculty, and staff look forward to as a time to reflect and rededicate themselves to the art of caring. On October 26th, the School of Nursing gathered for the ceremony at the college’s Downtown Henderson campus to renew their commitment to nursing.
In her opening remarks, Dean Shirlee Snyder reminded the gathering of the ceremony’s purpose. We gather here to acknowledge the intensive study and personal reflection that is required in our nursing program, stated Dr. Snyder. This is a time for us to learn, reflect, and grow. Our annual Healing Presence Ceremony affords us the opportunity to celebrate what we have accomplished and move forward, being a healing presence in our own lives and the lives others, she continued.
The idea that one can serve as a healing presence was the focal point of the ceremony. Dr. Snyder emphasized that is it essential to be a healing presence in the lives of others, as well as in their own lives.
As one of the school’s central tenants, nursing faculty integrate the concept of caring throughout a student’s curriculum. Nurses are to demonstrate care to their patients through commitment, compassion and competence.
This year, the Healing Presence Ceremony focused on one specific aspect of caring – the energy of a healing presence. The nursing students and faculty brought this concept to life by forming a large circle divided into seven sections, with a centerpiece table adorned in lavender, which is a symbol of healing. Each section was then led by a student reader and faculty member, representing the seven steps for being a healing presence. As each student reader recited the steps for being a healing presence, students and faculty in each group walked around the centerpiece table, selecting a sprig, which symbolized their dedication to becoming a healing presence through their learning, reflection and growth.
Since its founding in 2003, the School of Nursing faculty has sought to establish traditions that would foster a culture of caring. Through the Healing Presence Ceremony, the philosophy of caring is shared each year, further cultivating a community of future nurses that will demonstrate the aspects of being a healing presence throughout southern Nevada.