FRANKFORT, Ky. – Nurses across the country have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Kentucky National Guard’s efforts in the commonwealth.During National Nurses Week, the Guard recognizes the nurses of the 1163rd Medical Company and their work. They have been deployed to support COVID-19 efforts in Louisville at an alternate care facility established in response to the pandemic.The 1163rd’s nurses take pride in their jobs in the medical field in both the Guard and in their civilian occupations – including in emergency rooms, intensive care units and nursing homes.“I enjoy being a nurse in my civilian job and being a medic in the National Guard,” said Sgt. Kirsten Richardson, medic and ICU nurse. “I work at the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) as a nurse, and it is rewarding getting to serve fellow veterans. In the unit, I’m able to bring skills I’ve learned at work to help train younger Soldiers.”The nurses have not been called upon to treat any COVID-19 patients during the alternate care facility mission, but they are busy learning and sharing knowledge.“Even though we didn’t treat any COVID-19 patients, our unit has learned a lot,” said 2nd Lt. Cynthia Ulshafer, bedside nurse and ICU nurse. “If the National Guard is needed in the future for a pandemic response, we have a blueprint for how to do it now even more effectively than we did this time.”Members of the 1163rd have been working with their Air National Guard counterparts throughout this mission.“It has been awesome working with the Kentucky Air Guard during this mission,” said Spc. Paige Sipe, medic and ER nurse. “Typically we just work with the Army National Guard, so it has been nice meeting new people and learning new skills from our sister branch.”The nurses say they have gained considerable experience during this mission and are going to be able to use the things they’ve learned through the military in their civilian capacity as well.“My time and service with the Guard has influenced my position as a nurse on the civilian side by allowing me to carry over leadership experience, discipline and structure into the workload of a very busy intensive care unit,” Ulshafer said. “All of these are the foundation for a successful position as an ICU nurse, and I have the Guard to thank for that.”For more National Guard news: http://www.nationalguard.mil/National Guard Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheNationalGuard/National Guard Twitter: https://twitter.com/usnationalguardHow the National Guard is helping: https://www.nationalguard.mil/coronavirus/Photos of the National Guard response: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/albums/72157713483827538Latest from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/U.S. response: https://www.coronavirus.gov/White House-CDC response: https://www.coronavirus.gov/