For the second consecutive year, the World Health Organization has dedicated this year “The Year of the Nurse & Midwife.”
Last year’s dedication was in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. This year it is in recognition of the profound impact that nurses have had on the lives of millions around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we celebrate nurses during this year’s National Nurses Week, May 6-12, let’s thank them for the sacrifices they have made over the last year. They faced historic challenges, yet never hesitated in their response. They kept away from friends and families so their loved ones would be safe as they battled COVID-19 on the frontlines. They acted bravely, compassionately and professionally to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our patients.
As a nurse, I recognize the grit and resilience of our nurses, especially now as they continue to face their own fears and anxieties, and as they make difficult decisions and sacrifices in our fight against the coronavirus. Our team of more than 4,400 nurses has shown tremendous courage and dedication, and selflessness. Their commitment to caring for and serving others has never wavered, and their resolve has not faltered.
Lee Health nurses are exceptional—every day and night. Our nurses are guided by Lee Health’s mission to be a trusted partner, empowering healthier lives through care and compassion, and the ExceptionalLee Promise: To listen and communicate effectively, embrace empathy, act with compassion and continually improve care—creating a safe, comforting and healing environment for our patients, their families and each other. Advocating for others, promoting the health, well-being and dignity of every patient, and building strong connections and relationships are the hallmarks of our ExceptionalLee nurses.
Though there are not enough words to adequately express our gratitude for our nurses, we proudly celebrate them during National Nurses Week, and throughout the year. We invite you to join us in recognizing our nurses on social media (Facebook.com/LeeHealth) by using the hashtag #ExceptionalLeeNurse. Your words of encouragement will be especially appreciated now, as our nursing professionals continue to care for our community during this pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has given us many opportunities to celebrate and honor the bravery, heroism and commitment of the women and men who choose to dedicate their careers and lives to nursing. We could not be more grateful for their continued dedication to their profession and our community.
Jennifer Higgins, RN, MSN, NEA-BC is Chief Nursing Officer for Lee Health.