When I reflect on my own life, times when I or my family have dealt with serious health issues, I am humbled and inspired by the nurses who were there for us in our moments of need. They were fully present with us, watchful, alert, comforting, compassionate, knowledgeable and skilled.They brought a sense of a humor to lighten our spirits.
And that is just my personal experience. About 40,000 nurses across Providence St. Joseph Health bring that same sense of expertise, healing and love to the millions of patients we serve each year. Our nurses are there for people at their most vulnerable, treating each individual with the dignity and respect that every human life deserves. I am grateful for our nurses every day, and this Nurses Week, I am especially reflective of the difference they have made in my own life, my family’s life and those of everyone we serve.
If you haven’t seen this year’s Distinguished Nursing Lectureship, I highly recommend you take time to watch it. This year’s speaker is Amy Berman from the John A. Hartford Foundation, which focuses on improving health for older adults. This is our 10th annual nursing lectureship, and I want to thank Deb Burton, our SVP and chief nursing officer, for her ongoing commitment to this impactful and inspiring lecture series.
I was also struck by this year’s reflection, which was delivered by Michelle James, our chief nursing officer in Southwest Washington and our regional chief nursing officer for Washington and Montana. Michelle talks about the “art, science and heart” of nursing. “Our work is physically, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively very challenging,” she said. “And I would assert the most rewarding work a person can do.”
Michelle also shared a great quote from Mother Teresa: “Never worry about the numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” That beautifully captures the sacred work our nurses do day and day out. Their commitment to loving and serving the person right in front of them is an inspiration. To all of the nurses across Providence St. Joseph Health, thank you for all you do. I hope you have had a wonderful Nurses Week.