Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) celebrated the 121st birthday of the Army Nurse Corps on Feb. 2, 2022, by recognizing the contributions of Army nurses throughout history.
The event included guest speakers, as well as a traditional cake cutting by the youngest (Army Pfc. Regina Johnson, licensed practical nurse, LRMC) and most experienced (Army Col. Dennis Turner, 30th Medical Brigade) nurses.
“Since 1901 Army nurses have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to the highest standards of military nursing excellence,” Johnson said, as she presented the history of the Army Nurse Corps. “We have consistently exemplified a high degree of initiative, courage, and dedication in service to mankind, the United States Army, and our nation.”
Nurses have served with the Army since 1775. On Feb. 2, 1901, congress formally established the Army Nurse Corps. Today its mission is “To provide responsive, innovative, and evidence-based nursing care integrated on the Army Medicine Team to enhance readiness, preserve life and function, and promote health and wellness for all those entrusted to our care.”
“Service to the country is a higher calling and professional nursing is also a calling,” said Army Col. Jodelle Schroeder, chief nursing officer, LRMC. “Sometimes we find it hard to put in words exactly what Army nurses do but if we did not have (nurses), there would be a lot of folks scrambling to fill the gaps those positions support at medical facilities and units at home and deployed. I’m in awe every day to the special people that can answer the call as Army nurses. Not just a nurse in the Army but those that embrace the call to be Soldiers, leaders, and to engage their superpower as a nurse.”
During the event, Army 2nd Lt. Elliot Main, medical surgical nurse, LRMC, discussed the critical roles nurses play at the front lines of modern battlefield medicine and how LRMC has evolved to meet those changing needs.
In 2003, LRMC was transformed from a five-community hospital to level 1 trauma center, treating 1,568 casualties from Operation Enduring Freedom and 1,721 causalities from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Main said.
“LRMC provided Soldiers with a strategic location for the stabilization of medical necessities prior to being taking into the states for continuation of care,” Main said. “Nurses at LRMC have played a vital role. The nurses who took care of Soldiers at that time left an impeccable trail of hard work, dedication and a higher quality of healthcare.”
Retired Army Colonel, Regina C. Noeth, now a nurse supervisor at LRMC, discussed the relevance of this year's celebration theme: Trusted, Tested, and Ready.
“This birthday gives us an opportunity to celebrate the values of the Army Nurse Corps, reflect on our mission and give honor to all that work in military medicine here today. We represent a wide variety of nursing roles in the battlefield and fixed facilities. At no other time in history have nurses played such an important role in the delivery of medical care as now.”