To be a fellow worker with God is the highest aspiration of which we can conceive man capable. – Florence Nightingale, founder of the modern nursing profession (1820-1910)
Florence Nightingale’s words echo the Mission, Vision and Values of Ascension nurses across the nation as they answer the call to serve their communities with an incredible strength of healing during these unprecedented times.
Well before this pandemic revealed itself, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) designated 2020 the “Year of the Nurse”. While this was done largely because 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, I can’t help but think the WHO and ANA had some level of divine foresight that nursing would further differentiate itself this year…and it certainly has. At this point in time, our often unsung caregivers are now widely recognized as healthcare heroes.
We have seen countless nurses leave their homes to bravely face the greatest global healthcare challenge of our time. We are grateful for and humbled by the unwavering dedication to patient care displayed daily by nurses nationwide as they lead with their fellow caregivers at the front line of this pandemic.
At a time when many patients are alone and isolated from their families, nurses have gone beyond clinical care with simple acts of compassion to brighten long days of solitude, and even fear. Across Ascension St Vincent’s hospitals, we’ve seen nurses sing to our patients, pray with our patients and families, play games while in isolation from the other side of a patient’s glass room door and enable countless virtual visits for patients and families to remain connected. I have never been more proud to be a nurse, and I have never been more proud to serve the Ministry of Ascension St. Vincent’s.
We are also grateful for the communities that have stepped up to support and show appreciation to nurses. So many people, both young and old, have showered our nurses with meals, letters, encouraging chalk messages, childrens drawings, and signage around hospital entrances and
walkways for our teams to see and appreciate as they start and finish their shifts.
As it turns out, 2020 truly may be the Year of the Nurse. And as we celebrate Nurses Week, let us remain committed to fearlessly serving those in need, no matter the challenge.
To all nurses – Happy Nurses Week and Thank You for making 2020 “The Year of the Nurse”.
Chris Moore MSN, RN, MBA
System Chief Operating Officer & Chief Nursing Officer Ascension St. Vincent’s