Fairfield Egan's Clinical Initiation Ceremony Kicks Off Nursing Careers

Fairfield Egan's Clinical Initiation Ceremony Kicks Off Nursing Careers

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to witness the prestigious ceremony and support Egan's Class of 2026 nursing students.

Class of 2026 students in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies officially marked their entry into clinical practice at the Clinical Initiation Ceremony during Alumni & Family Weekend.

The ceremony serves as both the starting point of the nurses' clinical practice and as a commemoration of the values they will carry with them as they set out into professional healthcare settings. 

Dean Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN offered words of inspiration to the Egan school students as they marked this milestone in their training. “It is good work, but it is hard work. It is work that requires constant refueling, something we are growing to appreciate in our profession”, she said. “As compassionate care leaders, I implore you to show compassionate care to yourselves, your dreams, your passions, and your health. Today, you become a vessel for healing.”

Guest speaker Katherine Saracino, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Instructor of the Practice at Fairfield University, noted the importance of patient connection: “Be a nurse, share all your knowledge, but don’t only use your perspective—learn about your patient so you can see their illness, their obstacles and their struggles through their eyes and viewpoint.  Learn about them and treat them as a whole person, not only their admission diagnosis. Every person you care for has a story.  You need to find it.  If you were the patient today- what would you want your nurse to know about you?”

In her keynote address, Dr. Saracino also emphasized the power of kindness and to use it when students start their clinicals this spring. “Your journey to become a register nurse takes a new turn this spring.  You will push yourself to assess, educate, advocate, and evaluate your patient’s health, their plan of care, and there overall well-being. Use your knowledge, but use your heart as well. Take what you have learned, throw in some kindness, some time and curiosity, and do your part to make a connection so you can make a difference in someone’s life.”

Next was the presentation of the Egan lamp pin. The symbolism of the lamp is tied to nurse Florence Nightingale who gained the nickname of "The Lady With the Lamp" after using a lamp to guide her path at night to care for soldiers during the Crimean War. The lamp represents goodwill, reliability, and compassion, while reminding students of their commitment to providing compassionate and high-quality care. 

By all accounts, the ceremony was both joyous and moving. Students took an oath to live up to the high ideals of the Egan School and the nursing profession, pledged to uphold their commitment to honesty, integrity, and ethical practice, and to protect the welfare of their patients.

To learn more about the Egan School, visit fairfield.edu/egan.

Clinical Initiation Ceremony

Clinical Initiation Ceremony

Tags:  Egan School

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