On October 1, 2008, students and faculty gathered for the fifth annual Healing Presence Ceremony, a celebration of their commitment to the art of caring in nursing. The small park on Basic & Water adjacent from the Nursing facility served as the backdrop for this serene and meaningful event.
Dr. Sherri Coffman, instructor of Nursing at Nevada State College, shared in her opening remarks that the NSC School of Nursing focuses on the concept of caring. NSC’s nursing faculty believes this concept is the essence of nursing, as ethical and spiritual caring is infused in all nursing situations. During every encounter with a patient, nurses demonstrate care through commitment, compassion and competence.
The ceremony focuses on one particular aspect of caring the energy of healing presence within nurse-patient and faculty-student relationships. To illustrate this, students and faculty form a large circle divided into seven sections, each section led by a student reader and faculty member. These sections represent the seven steps for being a healing presence. In the center of the circle is a small table strewn with lavender, which is known for its healing gifts. As each student reader recites the gifts, the students and faculty in that group walk around the table of lavender, selecting a sprig symbolizing their dedication to becoming a healing presence through learning, reflection and growth.
When the School of Nursing was established in 2003, the faculty had the unique prospect of creating opportunities such as the Healing Presence Ceremony that would foster a culture of caring in the program. Since then, this philosophy has been imparted to all students in the program, developing a community of future nurses demonstrating a healing presence throughout southern Nevada.
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