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Nursing Department holds inaugural “Blessing of the Hands”

Kimberly Hagen, of Carrollton, Georgia, joins fellow Carson-Newman University nursing students in reciting an Oath to Compassionate Patient Care during a Blessing of the Hands ceremony Feb. 8 in First Baptist Church of Jefferson City.

(Feb. 11, 2019) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman University’s Nursing Department held its inaugural “Blessing of the Hands” ceremony on Feb. 8, 2019. The event was held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City.

Born from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s “White Coat Ceremony,” the event serves as a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training. Some 30 students participated.

Dr. Angie Wood, chair of C-N’s Nursing Department said the ceremony helps students understand they are entering the next step in their training to become a nurse.

“This event signifies that our students have completed their initial three semesters of study in foundational courses and that they are prepared to move into the clinical area and actually give care to patients as they continue to study nursing,” said Wood.

Christy Cooper, director of Emergency Services for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, served as the event’s keynote speaker. During the ceremony, students recited the Oath to Compassionate Care prior to a pinning and the Blessing of the Hands.

Funding for Carson-Newman’s inaugural ceremony was provided by the Gold Foundation through the generous support of its trustee and donor Elaine Adler. The University was among 50 nursing schools selected in 2018 to launch their first such ceremony.

The nursing faculty believe that each person possesses intrinsic value, worth, dignity and freedom of choice as an individual and as a member of the local and worldwide community and should be treated as such,” explained Wood.

“This ceremony is an opportunity for students to affirm this belief and make a commitment to always give kind and compassionate care,” she said. “The blessing that is given shows our hope for them – that their hands will always bring comfort and healing to the ones they touch.”

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

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