Nursing School celebrates International Nurses Day with 'Blessing of the Hands'

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 14-5-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



The School of Nursing at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus celebrated International Nurses Day - by holding its annual ‘Blessing of the Hands’ Ceremony.

International Nurses Day commemorates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and is a day that marks the incredible contribution nurses all round the world make to the health of the community.

Similarly the School’s ‘Blessing of the Hands’ ceremony recognizes the dedication of nurses to bringing comfort, kindness and spiritual support to patients. As students of a Catholic University nurses embark on their clinical placements with blessing and prayers to prepare them for their professional duties.

All of Notre Dame’s nursing students were involved in the ceremony, held during daily mass at Sacred Heart Church, Darlinghurst.

University Chaplain, Fr John Neill OP, conducted the blessing, anointing the hands of students, staff and visiting nurses with oil as a symbol of healing.

Executive Dean of Nursing, Professor Margot Kearns addressed the students at the ceremony. She said the blessing prepares nurses spiritually for the experiences they will have in healthcare.

“Next month you will join the workforce as student nurses - delivering quality, serving communities and on graduation we hope that you will become leaders in the nursing profession.

“With this ceremony and the anointing of your hands we are asking for God’s blessing on your work to guide you and care for you as you care for those dependent on you,” said Professor Kearns.

Nurses in the congregation included representatives from Notre Dame’s Clinical Partners, St Vincents and Mater Health and Sydney South West Area Health Service, the Nursing Advisory Board, Nurses and Midwives Board of NSW, and the Sisters of Charity. All took the opportunity to have their hands blessed and reflect on the importance of nursing.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407