By Jess Kusak
Nevada State College School of Nursing students and faculty recently gathered for the sixth annual Healing Presence Ceremony, a college tradition honoring student and faculty dedication to the art of caring in nursing. Students and faculty gathered at the College’s Downtown Henderson campus to affirm their commitment to nursing.
Dr. Shirlee Snyder, Interim Dean of Nursing, shared in her opening remarks that the ceremony is designed to acknowledge the students and faculty’s dedication to the art of nursing. This ceremony is a time to learn, reflect and grow as nurses and nursing educators, stated Dr. Snyder. The ceremony’s focus, per Dr. Snyder’s remarks, was to not only be a healing presence in the lives of others but in their own lives as well. The ceremony serves to reinforce and encourage a holistic approach to nursing students, professors and practitioners alike.
The concept of caring is one of the central tenets integrated into the School of Nursing’s curriculum. The nursing faculty believe that caring is the essence of nursing. Nurses demonstrate care through commitment, compassion and competence during every encounter with a patient, skills instilled in all NSC nursing students as they move through their studies.
The focal point of the Healing Presence Ceremony was centered on one specific aspect of caring the energy of a healing presence. To illustrate this concept, students and faculty formed a large circle divided into seven sections with each section led by a student reader and faculty member. The sections represented each of the seven steps for being a healing presence. As each student reader recited the steps for being a healing presence, the students and faculty in the group walked around a table of lavender located in the center of the circle, selecting a sprig, which symbolizes their dedication to becoming a healing presence through their learning, reflection and growth.
When the School of Nursing was established in 2003, the faculty wanted to create opportunities that would foster a culture of caring. This philosophy has since been imparted to all students in the program, cultivating in a community of future nurses that demonstrate a healing presence throughout southern Nevada.