David Crutchley, dean of the Carson-Newman University School of Religion, prays a blessing for the hands of nursing student Lisa Peters, of Morristown, during the University’s recent “Blessing of the Hands” ceremony. The event — which was born from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s “White Coat Ceremony” — serves as a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of training. Students must first complete three semesters of coursework before the ceremony signifies their advancement into the clinical area and hands-on patient care. More than a dozen students participated in the ceremony. During the ceremony, students recited the Oath to Compassionate Care prior to a pinning and the Blessing of the Hands.