A rightful salute to nurses

Week recognizes contributions of 'front line' employees in patient care

By Ken Esten Cooke— May is a month that brings spring flowers and some important recognition for nurses across the country.

National Nurses Week this year is May 6-12, ending on the birth date of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale and also graduation day for many nurses. Many graduation ceremonies remember Nightingale, the “first nurse,” as a part of a time-honored tradition.

Let’s all thank the nurses in our lives, who represent the largest profession by numbers in a rapidly changing healthcare system. It is because of their dedication to professionalism and patient care that they have been repeatedly voted by the public as the most trusted profession in America.

Still nurses are not content to rest on their laurels, and they continually come up with ideas on how to improve patient care. (Locally, we are fortunate to have Hill Country Memorial Hospital, which seeks input from all employees on how to provide continually better care.) They take advantage of new technologies and serve as the “front line” of healthcare. There also is a movement to raise the education level of nurses, and many universities offer RN to BSN programs where nurses can continue to work while studying to get their bachelor of nursing degree.

Nurses are a critical component of the healthcare industry, and we salute them for their compassionate presence they provide to patients and families. With so much uncertainty about changes in the industry, their professionalism and dedication are as comforting as their bedside presence.

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