Grateful for nurses on Nurses Week

News | 18 days ago

A Moment of Gratitude for Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is a time for everyone to recognize the vast contributions and positive impact of America's 4 million registered nurses. Here, Maureen Swick, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president and system nurse executive for Atrium Health takes a moment to share her appreciation for all of our nurses out there.

By Maureen Swick, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president and system nurse executive Maureen Swick

Every year during Nurses Week, I like to take a moment to pause and reflect on the profession of nursing.

It is in some ways a curious profession. Nursing requires a person to have a brain able to be both data-minded and people-focused. Nurses care for a patient’s emotional needs, just as much as they care for their physical ailments. In many ways, nurses are both clinical and social scientists, trained in the art and science of medicine.

Nurses must know when extra precautions are required to avoid spreading infection. They must know warning signs of potential problems. And they need to know when a patient’s emotional state will prevent them from processing needed health information. They must pay attention to detail, but also stay attuned to the needs of the whole person.

This balance makes our nurses ideal advocates for, and educators of, our patients. They form a bridge between a sometimes scary and complicated healthcare system and the people in their care.

If you are someone who is looking for ways to use your broad talents to care for others with both your head and your heart, nursing is an ideal profession.

As the leader of nursing for Atrium Health, I am fortunate to receive countless stories of the incredible work performed by our nurses. I have read stories of nurses making weekly visits to patients – on their own time – because the bond they had formed was so deep. We have nurses who have delivered babies, held the hands of the dying, and comforted the sick.

I am eternally grateful to have been guided to the nursing profession. It is richer, more rewarding and more challenging than I could have ever known.

During this Nurses Week, I invite you to thank a nurse in your life, to share your appreciation for his or her unique talents and skills. All our nurses deserve our gratitude and praise for the vital work they carry out every day. They are true dynamos who are leading our continuing journey toward improving health, advancing healing and elevating hope – for all.