Eighty-eight Nursing Students Blessed before First Clinical
February 12, 2021
On Fri., Feb. 5, 88 nursing students in the class of 2023 gathered in the Abbey Church for a special blessing of the hands ceremony in preparation for their first clinical experiences. The ceremony is a beloved tradition for the college’s future nurses, connecting the Benedictine values at the center of their college experience to their future work.
“To me, the blessing of the hands reconnects us with our faith as we enter into clinicals,” said nursing major Shannon Parr ’23. She added, “It is a celebration for how much we are about to achieve in the community.”
Fr. Mathias Durette, O.S.B., presided over the blessing, presenting to each student the medal of St. Raphael, patron saint of nurses. For the first time the students proudly wore their navy blue scrubs, ready to begin their rotations. Nursing Professor Carrie MacLeod, Ph.D., officially welcomed the students; Student Nurses Association president Bailey Conte ’21 then provided words of encouragement. One-by-one the sophomore nursing students were called to the altar to get their hands blessed by Nursing Professors Melinda Ferguson, Anne Knight, Carrie MacLeod and Deborah McCarter. Due to COVID, student nurses were socially distanced and guests were unable to attend but watched the live stream.
“Your task as nurses will be to serve as angels here on earth, as agents of healing and consolation,” said Fr. Mathias. “Yours is a noble profession. It is putting the gospel into action.”
“My favorite part was stepping up to my professor and her saying the prayer for me. It made me feel like God will always be by my side throughout my career,” said Tessa Whiteside ’23.
The students will now enter a new chapter in their nursing education taking their classroom, lab, and simulation learning to the clinical environment.
This year’s students who received the blessing were: