It is a joy and honor to celebrate National Nurses Week May 6-12. Throughout my career in health care, I have been blessed to be a team member alongside amazing nurses. They have been a gift to me and to all of our patients.
Many of life’s most transformative moments involve our health. Consider the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one. Or the diagnosis of cancer or the good news of a normal laboratory result. These moments are charged with incredible emotion. These moments become life’s milestone memories. Whether sad or happy, all of us will experience health care at some point in our lives, and we will create these memories.
When you reflect on those milestone memories in your own life, I wonder if you would recall a great nurse helping you navigate a health care moment. Perhaps it is the nurse sharing the awe and wonder of when your child took their first breath. Or perhaps you recall the comforting and caring smile of your nurse after receiving a challenging diagnosis. Not only do nurses deliver expert and specialized care, they also teach us and care for us. Nurses walk alongside us during these moments.
A nurse’s work is love made visible.
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National Nurses Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the critical role of nursing and our gratitude to those who serve across the entire continuum of health care — from birth to death, from office to hospital, from home health to the nursing facility. Nurses are the backbone of health care in America. And they are often the first person we seek when we have a health-related question. If you have a nurse in your family, you know what I’m talking about. Just picture every family reunion or friends get-together; we all have our list of health questions we’ve been saving for the nurse in our family.
Consider asking the nurses in your life a different question: “Why did you choose to become a nurse?” You will be richly rewarded with stories of inspiration, dedication, altruism and a selfless passion to improve the lives of others. I am blessed to work alongside amazing nurses every day, and they continue to inspire me.
If a nurse has made a positive impact in your life, consider recognizing their service through a gift to the Allen Foundation. Many of the great nurses with whom I have worked are proud graduates of Allen College. Your generosity continues to provide opportunities for education and to improve the health care experience for years to come.
The “For Allen For You” campaign has raised more than $13.5 million and is symbolic of the National Nurses Week celebration. Health care is more than a building or a cutting-edge medical equipment. Rather, it is about people. This is about the threads that weave together our community, and I can think of no better model than nurses.