Week-long Observance Honors Nation's Nurses
In honor of National Nurses Week, celebrated each year from May 6-12, a number of events and programs were held here to thank nurses and recognize them for their vital role in patient health. Pictured are Maj. Gen. Jimmie Keenan, commanding general, Army Nurse Corps and Public Health Command, and Lt. Col. America Planas, Department of Health Education and Training director, Tripler Army Medical Center. Keenan was the guest speaker at the Nurses Call and Town Hall, which was held May 8.

Nurses from all over the United States are celebrating National Nurses Week. The celebration started May 6, National Nurses Recognition Day, and ended May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday.

Nurses Week is a time to recognize and give thanks to the millions of nurses who serve patients everywhere and every day--24/7--with the spirit of caring and compassion. It is the time of the year when nurses can provide public awareness on the importance of their professional role in America's health care system.

It is also the time to acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the public opinion's ranking nursing, the most trusted profession for honesty and ethics for the 12th time in the Gallup Poll's Annual Honesty and Ethics Profession survey. For me, Nurses Week is a time of personal reflection, reconnection and renewal in how nurses make a difference every day.

As I reflect on this year's Nurses Week theme, "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring" I asked myself, "How do nurses advocate for their patients, for themselves, for their colleagues, and for their profession? Nurses advocate for their patients by putting them at the center of our health care system; we provide them holistic care and develop a trusting relationship thru "communicating with our heart." Nurses educate, engage, encourage, and empower their patients through education so they can be knowledgeable and well-informed medical consumers; we partner with them and support their decision-making process and choices.

Nurses take care of themselves by incorporating healthy habits into their busy lives with a focus on the body-mind-spirit connection, so they can show up at their work place ready to be nowhere else; fully present for their patients/families and their co-workers. Nurses assess themselves and develop professionally thru Peer Feedback from colleagues on their strengths and opportunities for growth; they reflect on their practice and enhance their relationships with peers creating a healthy working environment.

For Army Nurses, the Patient Caring Touch System (PCTS) is our model for Nursing Care where the patient is at the center of our practice, an enabler of the Army Medicine's Culture of Trust initiative where we transition from a healthcare system to a system of health. For the nursing profession, our shared accountability gives our nursing team members a voice in our practice and the innovation of that practice through our elected nursing practice councils at unit, facility, regions, and the Army Nurse Corps levels.

Nurses are leaders; leading from the front and thru example. Nurses love what they do and they are passionate to serve others and to make a difference. Nurses let their humanity shine at work. It is about showing respect, courtesy, and consideration every single day of the work week. Nurses are confident, positive in words and body language and when times become difficult they give others hope for better things to come. With their positive attitude, they create a sense of enjoyment for everyone on the team. As leaders, nurses are visionary; they have a vision that is lofty, but realistic and they involve others in the process; indeed, an esprit de corps.

Nurses are all about caring; they are consistently compassionate. Every day nurses work diligently to build trusting relationships with their patients. They seek first to understand, then to be understood. They listen with empathy and care in their heart. Nurses share and feel their patients' pain, suffering, anxiety, fear, needs, loss, grief, concerns and goals. Nurses understand that the foundation of healing starts with a trusting relationship, good communication, and compassion.

After reflecting and reconnecting with the 2012 Nurses Week theme, "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring," I stopped for a moment of silence and took the time to say a prayer for nurses all over the world--especially to my fellow military colleagues in Afghanistan and to all the Army Nurses who sacrificed their lives to serve our nation at war. I thank God for the opportunity to touch lives, make a difference through the work we do. I am once again strengthened, recommitted and renewed to give the best to our military members and their families that I serve at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii. I indeed found my passion and my voice in nursing. Nurses may have different voices, but this year we are united in singing only one song, "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring."


Page last updated Thu May 17th, 2012 at 20:18