We are celebrating how nurses inspire, innovate and influence as this year’s theme. This captures the essence of what nurses do as we provide care and leadership across patients’ lifespan.
Nurses inspire each other, their patients, their families and the community as we are the most trusted profession.
We inspire patients and families with hope. As we know, sometimes this is all they have to hold onto, besides our hands, as we provide comfort in their darkest hours.
As I attended our recent Institute for Nursing Awards and Scholarship Gala, I was inspired by each nurse we honored for their amazing accomplishments. As I look back to my first charge nurses who mentored me when I was “green” out of school, along with others, I see how they inspired me to continue to grow and stretch for new goals in my education and profession.
Nurses are innovators. Have you ever met a nurse when faced with a challenge—be it a lack of supplies or another issue— who couldn’t find another item or solution and get the same results? They are creative minds to say the least.
Think of the innovators who have given nurses a theoretical grounding from Florence Nightingale, who innovated sanitation practices that reduced patient mortality by two thirds in Scutari, the British base hospital in Constantinople in 1854 to Anita Dorr, who is credited with the innovation known today as the crash cart in 1967 to volunteers who came up with creative solutions to provide care after Hurricane Harvey last year, nurses are always looking for innovative solutions to problems.
Nurses are increasingly finding their voice of influence.
For far too long, nurses, the largest single group of health care providers in the United States, remained silent while others made decisions for and about nursing.
Today, nurses can be found on boards, in state houses and even in Congress serving and advocating for our profession and those we serve.
I look at the advocacy issues we are working on, both at the state and national level and can’t help but see inspired nurses working to make innovative changes to better patient care.
Imagine if we could fully understand the impact of gun violence on health care? Think about how public health will be improved now that all workers will have access to earned sick leave in New Jersey. How would patient outcomes improve if we had proper staffing protocols based on patient acuity and nurse experience?
Thank you, nurses for your gift of compassion, caring, and professional service. Remember that you inspire, innovate and influence others in the profession you have chosen.
Happy Nurses Week!