From left, Col. Mary Ann Jones-Morgan, MACH deputy commander for nursing; Col. Mark Higdon, MACH commander; and Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts, Fort Jackson commanding general, sign the National Nurses Week proclamation at post headquarters May 3.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- In 1899, the surgeon general set criteria for the establishment of a reserve force of nurses. It can be argued that because of their courage, commitment to service and compassion for others during assigned engagements, the Nurse Corps became a permanent fixture in the Army Medical Department Feb. 2, 1901. Today, 40,000 active, Reserve and National Guard officers, non-commissioned officers, enlisted and civilians represent Army Nursing.

Last Friday, I -- along with the leadership of Moncrief Army Community Hospital -- signed a proclamation recognizing this week as National Nurses Week.

National Nurses Week is held May 6-12, every year. The purpose of the weeklong celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people. National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America's 3.1 million nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of people. This year, the American Nurses Association has selected "Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care" as the theme for 2013 -- a theme appropriately befitting our Team Jackson nurses across Moncrief's hospital campus.

This is a very important event as our Army and civilian Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses at MACH and around the globe have a mission that takes a special person with exceptional skills to perform the daily duties.

The nursing staff at Moncrief is fully engaged in the health care of its patients and their families from the beginning as well as throughout the treatment process. Team Jackson's nurses' high-quality patient- and family-centered care resonates throughout our community.

On a daily basis, we witness the courageous acts of kindness and compassion the nursing team so humbly provides to its patients. The nurses' actions represent a powerful message of trust and encouragement.

Nurses have topped Gallup's professional honesty and ethics poll every year but one since 1999, when nurses were first added to the poll. Delivering quality and innovation is a hallmark of MACH's Nursing Team. It has launched a patient care delivery system -- Patient Caring Touch System, or PCTS -- which was developed by the Army Nurse Corps to guide the delivery of nursing care throughout Army Medicine. This system was designed to ensure that the patient is the center in all nursing care delivery environments. PCTS builds on the ability of Army medical personnel from front-line combat medics and Combat Support Hospital personnel to staff here at Moncrief to provide state of the art medical care to our Wounded Warriors, their family members, Soldiers and beneficiaries.

Our nurses have a rich and proud history. Our Army nurses have proved themselves a valuable asset throughout their years in service. Nurses have answered the call and served their country from the Crimean War to the current Operation Enduring Freedom. The Corps has transformed time and time again to meet current mission requirements. As the military has changed, so has the Army Medical Department, to ensure proper care for those in harm's way as well as for patients on the home front.

So please join me in celebrating this unique profession and the continued tradition of excellence in medical operations from the battlefield to Army installations around the world.

Hopefully, this week you've received the chance to share some of your time with our nursing staff. If not, come and join in tomorrow to celebrate during an ice cream social at Moncrief's Dining Facility from 1:45 to 3 p.m.

Now, let me say thank you to Team Jackson's nursing staff for its tireless and exemplary efforts to support our Soldiers, Family Members and retirees in need of superb health care. Your dedication to our community shows, and you all deserve this celebration.

Army Strong and Victory Starts Here

Victory 6

Page last updated Thu May 9th, 2013 at 11:11