Nurses Week Address

Heroes : “You Make a Difference”

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a Hero is:

he·​ro | \ ˈhir-(ˌ)ō \

plural heroes

Definition of hero

1a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability

b: an illustrious warrior

c: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities

d: one who shows great courage

In honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th anniversary, 2020 has been declared the “Year of the Nurse”. I would like to define 2020 a step further and deem it the Year of the HERO. That is exactly what you are, Heroes.

I am sure many of you truly never understood or could appreciate what it meant to be faced with a pandemic when you were in your Community Health Nursing course. I know I didn’t. As we wrote policy and plans for disasters the pandemic section seemed like a regulatory requirement that had to be there because it was, well, required. There it sat, the section we figured we’d never have to touch. How could a country as advanced as ours end up with a pandemic, not just knocking at our door, but forcing its way in? Little did we know. Fortunately, we are a profession that adapts. One that is ever evolving and always learning. We know what we do today will change tomorrow. It takes great strength, knowledge and the gift of foresight, to weather these changes.

Nurses, more than any other group of healthcare professionals, are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in a profound manner. Heroes, you are spending more time exposed to patients who are positive. You are the ones assuring the patients are safe. You are the ones comforting those who are unfortunately alone and isolated due to the nature of this devastating disease. You are finding ingenious ways to care for your patient in an environment that is not always ideal. You work hard to ensure your patients, coworkers and the community are safe.

We honor your strength, dedication and willingness to step forward in the face of this virus, while the rest of the world has been asked and mandated to take a step back. What an honorable sacrifice you have made, many times forsaking your own family and risking your life to care for those who are less fortunate in this fight against something we cannot see, the very thing wreaking havoc on our country and the world. You are making sure that your patients know they are loved; ensuring no one is alone in what could very well be their final moments.

YOU are the angel on Earth

YOU are the strength of this community

YOU are the fearless one in the face of fear

YOU are our HERO

Happy Nurse’s week, Nurse’s month and more importantly, Happy Year of the HERO!!

I am honored to work with each and every one of you. You are my Heroes!!

Nancy M. Devine, CNO

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