Nursing, Not Just a Career but a Calling
During National Nurses Week, May 6-12, I want to recognize and thank the more than 1,500 nurses whom I represent at UPMC in North Central Pa., as well as the more than 4.4 million registered nurses nationwide. As nurses, you understand that our vocation is more than a paycheck and a career, it’s a calling.
Nursing requires selflessly serving and caring for others. It’s sleepless nights, long days, endless hours on our feet, and yet, one of most rewarding experiences we have the privilege to partake in every day. Nurses are a sign of comfort and calm in the storm. We often must put ourselves aside to help others when they’re facing some of the hardest points in their lives. We are entrusted with the lives of our patients and in return they expect our kindness, warmth, and expertise. Whether offering encouraging words of support or highly skilled care, as nurses, we steward the well-being of our patients with equal doses of professionalism and empathy.
With more than 40 years of experience as a nurse, I can safely say that the ups and downs that we’ve experienced over the past five years have really tested the grit of our health care professionals, especially nurses. Patient care is embodied in the practice of nursing and spans a variety of settings, from outpatient facilities, offices settings and senior communities to the hospital as well as care provided in people’s homes. Despite the countless challenges, nurses have stepped up again and again, helping to innovate and improve access to care for all patients. The nurses I work with everyday remind me why I chose this calling and became a nurse, and they are why I still spend time at the bedside with patients to this day.
You truly can never underestimate how much a simple sign of appreciation can make a difference in someone’s day. I invite you to join me in saying a special thank-you to all hardworking and compassionate nurses who, together, are helping make our communities safer and healthier for all of us every day.
Nurses, thank you for your grace, humility, and passion. No matter your credentials, as a nurse, you make a difference.