USC Aiken Nursing program honors 30 new first-semester students with a Dedication of Hands Ceremony

The University of South Carolina Aiken's School of Nursing is continuing its tradition of welcoming first-semester nursing students with an annual Dedication of Hands to the Nursing Profession ceremony.

The event started with a few words from Dr. Katie Chargualaf, interim dean of the School of Nursing. "This group of students are academically strong and passionate in their pursuit to become nurses," she said. "We are thrilled to have them in our nursing program and are excited to watch them succeed."

Thirty students along with their families packed the Student Activities Center (SAC) Mezzanine as the students waited for their chance to have their hands washed, dried, and oiled by USC Aiken faculty.

Lauren King, a junior nursing major, was one of the students dedicated during the ceremony. "This is very cool and supportive," she said. "It's so cool and it's so nice to see how we're dedicating our hands to the people in the community."

King says her love for nursing started back in high school when she got to shadow her best friend's mom. After graduating she says her goal is to work with kids. "I want to be a pediatric nurse and then after I get a couple of years under my belt, I want to be a traveling nurse."

Recently, USC Aiken's Nursing undergraduate BSN program was ranked as one of the best in the region by U.S. News & World Report. Chargualaf says she was thrilled to learn the news and that it holds a special meaning. "The Dedication of Hands ceremony is a symbolic gesture of the commitment our students have to serving our community by providing safe, quality, and compassionate care to each patient entrusted to them," she said.

Now that the students have participated in the ceremony, they will continue to care for patients each week for the remainder of the semester in addition to attending classes and the skills labs. 

For more information, contact Angela Saxon,