U.S. KFOR Medical honors their own on International Nurses Day
May 18, 2010
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Florence Nightingale was an English nurse
who came to prominence during the Crimean War for her work pioneering modern
nursing. Nightingale laid the brickwork for professional nursing by
establishing, in 1860, a nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital in London,
the first secular nursing school in the world.
The Nightingale Pledge, taken by new nurses, is named in her honor,
and International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world each year on May
12, her birthday.
Multinational Battle Group East Soldiers deployed to Kosovo in
support of Falcon Med, the medical unit supporting Camp Bondsteel,
celebrated Nurses' Week with a Nurse Recognition day. The main event took
place on International Nurses Day, May 12, with a cookout and individual
recognition of all the nurses in presentation of gift cards.
Lt. Col. John Elzie, the clinical head nurse from Olive Branch,
Miss., and Maj. Zandra Day, the officer in charge of emergency care from
Tifton, Ga., organized the event to both celebrate Nurses' Week and to
recognize their staff at the hospital.
Day said they planned the cookout for the nursing staff on
International Nurses Day and involved the support staff to show appreciation
for the important role they play in patient care. This year the theme was
"Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow." The event was designed to raise
awareness of the value of nursing and help communicate the role of nurses in
Col. Edwin Moore, Beverly Hills, Fla., commander of Falcon Med, has
27 years experience as an emergency care physician in both a military and
civilian capacity, took a moment to speak at the cookout to the nursing
"The nurses are the lifeblood of the hospital and we are dependent
upon the nurses to take care of the patients and provide the training, and
maintain the skills of our paramedical personnel," he said.
Moore works at Citrus Memorial Health System in Inverness, Fla. and
sees the importance of nursing in the ultimate goal of saving lives.
"I am glad we have National Nurses Week so that we can recognize all
the achievements and sacrifices that nurses have made over time," he said.
"Nursing is a very dynamic and learned profession. I am very fortunate to
practice medicine at a point when nursing is recognized, as it should be, as
a respected profession and we can work together as teammates to provide
Sgt. Latiesha Nickerson, a native of Kosciusko, Miss., is an
Intensive Care Unit nurse at Camp Bondsteel, but in civilian life she works
as a licensed practical nurse at Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort
Benning, Ga. With 11 years in the profession, she finds helping people one
of the great benefits.
"I really enjoy patient care and taking care of people. The rewards
of nursing and being able to help others have kept me in the field," she
said. "Along with being able to take care of people the joy of it is
watching people who are ill recover, regaining their health."
Her deployment in Kosovo isn't the first time she has worked with
Moore, her commander now.
"Sgt. Nickerson is a fine nurse; we worked together at Fort Benning,
Ga., where she works as a civilian." Moore said. "Both in her civilian and
military life, she is dedicated to caring for Soldiers."