National Nurses Week is always a special time for me. It is a time for reflection, celebration and gratitude. National polls consistently reveal that nursing is the most trusted profession in the United States---this comes as no surprise to me. Nursing so much more than a profession; it is a genuine calling to serve others with all you have to give. I am proud to be a nurse and grateful to have had so many opportunities to touch the lives of patients, families and caregivers in such a diverse way.
In my current role as a healthcare hospitality leader, I support the operations of many non-clinical support teams within hospitals. I am often asked, “Why did you leave nursing?” My response is always the same: I haven’t. I have simply chosen to care for patients, families and caregivers in a different way.
“Traditional nurses” assess, care-plan, intervene, and evaluate their patients, just as I did for so many years. Now I make sure the team members working behind the scenes to support nurses have the right training, tools and attitude to create an environment where patients, families and caregivers can both heal and flourish. I help ensure that the hospital environment is safe, clean and pleasant, so that nurses and their clinical colleagues can focus solely on their patients’ care.
My years spent as a bedside, home care, and hospice nurse were filled with joy, friendship and sometimes tears. I am fortunate to have had tremendous role models who taught me that a nurse has the ability to touch a person’s life forever. Inversely, each patient, family member and colleague I’ve worked with over the years has equally influenced me as a nurse and leader. In my role with HHS, I am grateful that, through the work of caring support service team members, I am still capable of positively influencing the lives of others.
As I begin my 25th year as a registered nurse, I realize how fortunate I am to have received that special calling so long ago, that has allowed me to serve others alongside the most trusted, competent, compassionate and caring colleagues in the world! I am truly honored to be a nurse.
To my current and former colleagues, THANK YOU and Happy Nurses Week!