Nurses Week – kiss a nurse today, I did!

Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. Traditionally, National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society.

I hold nurses in the highest regard.  My wife is a nurse (told you I kissed a nurse today), my sister is a nurse and my mother was a nurse.  I am honored and blessed that each day of my working life I get to work side by side with some of the best, brightest, caring and compassionate people I have ever known – Nurses.

I am of the belief that great nurses do not choose their profession, rather their profession chooses them.  Nurses fill many roles in modern health care but no matter the role, the essence of every great nurse is compassion and a desire to better human kind.

My mother was a nurse and at her funeral the nurses in attendance were presented a white rose and asked to perform the Nightingale Tribute.  The tribute was touching and I can type and type on this blog and not honor nurses in the same way the tribute does. 

So as a tribute to nurses of the past, present and future – The Nightingale Tribute.

The Nightingale Tribute Reading

She/He Was There

When a calming, quiet presence was all that was needed,

She/He was there.

In the excitement and miracle of birth or in the mystery and loss of life,

She/He was there.

When a silent glance could uplift a patient, family member or friend,

She/He was there.

At those times when the unexplainable needed to be explained,

She/He was there.

When the situation demanded a swift foot and sharp mind,

She/He was there.

When a gentle touch, a firm push, or an encouraging word was needed,

She/He was there.

In choosing the best one from a family’s “Thank You” box of chocolates,

She/He was there.

To witness humanity, its beauty, in good times and bad, without judgment,

She/He was there.

To embrace the woes of the world, willingly, and offer hope,

She/He was there.

And now, that it is time to be at the Greater One’s side,

She/He is there.

 © 2004 by Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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One Response to Nurses Week – kiss a nurse today, I did!

  1. Kayleen says:

    Great blog today! I am almost embarrased to say I’ve never before heard or read the Nightingale Tribute. It is truly touching. I can only hope to accomplish what was stated in the Tribute, and fill the shoes that Florence Nightingale, your mother, and all the other RN’s that have gone before me have left behind. Nurse’s have a very unique and perfect opportunity to matter in a person’s life, and that is one of the main reasons I have decided to make this my life’s career. Who else can go home and say, “I saved a life, touched a soul, and became a friend,” all in one shift?

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