38 hospital execs write thank-you notes to nurses

For more than two decades, nursing has been rated at the top of the list of the "most honest and ethical professions" in the country, according to Gallup.

The American Nurses Association is celebrating Nurses Month in May and encourages hospitals and other healthcare organizations to recognize the invaluable contributions nurses provide to patients, their families and their communities every day. 

The theme of the 2023 celebration, "You Make a Difference," highlights not only the knowledge and skills nurses bring, but also their ability to take a seat at the table when it comes to influencing and shaping patient-focused policies.

We know nurses are skilled, compassionate and dedicated to their chosen profession. Here are three things you might not know about nursing:

1. The first known nursing school was established in India in 250 BCE, and only male students could attend. Interestingly enough, nurses.com reports that of the approximately 4.2 million nurses in the United States today, only 9 percent are men.

2. Florence Nightingale introduced sanitation practices to nursing and developed many of the hygiene standards used in modern nursing.

3. Nurses walk an average of 4 miles in a 12-hour shift, according to NurseTogether. Studies show, in a 12-hour shift, day nurses walk about 5 miles, while night nurses walk about 3 miles.

Becker's collected messages of appreciation from nursing leaders across the U.S. 

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Vi-Anne Antrum, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Cone Health (Greensboro, N.C.): No one can put a price on the contribution you bring to the communities we serve. It is without measure! In moments of joy, when someone realizes they are having a baby or lost 100 pounds or got their A1C under control, you are there to celebrate with them. In times of fear, when someone hears the word cancer or had a stroke with physical damage or has to have surgery, you are a pillar of strength for them. When people are unsure how they will pay for medications or get food, you work tirelessly to advocate for them. During times of struggles with addiction or mental illness, you are a source of stability, encouragement and help. You laugh with people, cry with people and see when important changes are happening and act. You give a hug when there is nothing else to say. You are the family that some people don't have.

You go home every day and when you lay your head on the pillow, I hope you know what a positive difference you made for someone. You are the reason we are the most trusted  profession. YOU are the pearl of great price! Happy Nurses Week as we celebrate you for the absolute heroes that you are.

Dianne Aroh, RN. Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (Tacoma, Wash.): It is truly an honor and a privilege to acknowledge you, my nursing colleagues, and the role that you play in making a difference in the lives of patients, families and communities. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. I applaud and honor you — not only this week, but every day. Thank you for your dedication, resilience and compassion. Your contributions are invaluable.

Nancy Blake, PhD, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at LAC+USC Medical Center (Los Angeles): I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the nursing staff for their unwavering dedication and commitment to patient care. Your hard work and tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed, and we are proud to have such a dedicated team of nurses at our medical center.

Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and take care of our most vulnerable patients. Your compassion, expertise and empathy for patients make a real difference in the lives of those we serve. You are the first line of defense in providing high-quality care, and your impact on patient outcomes is immeasurable. From the bedside to the boardroom, you are an essential part of our healthcare team, and we could not do it without you. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence in nursing. We are honored to work alongside you on our mission to provide world-class care for all in our community.

Linda Carroll, MSN, RN. Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Saint Peter's Healthcare System (New Brunswick, N.J.): Compassionate care complemented by the highest skill level is what truly sets us apart. Our nursing team is comprised of outstanding individuals delivering extraordinary care based on an interdisciplinary approach to quality and patient safety. Our philosophy of care is based on the five Cs of nursing — calling, caring, culture, commitment and collaboration — and each of these is reflected in the level of care provided by our nurses at Saint Peter's each day. I am truly grateful for their unwavering dedication to our Catholic mission of providing humble service to all.

Orie Chambers, BSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at WellSpan Ephrata (Pa.) Community Hospital: To the nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community hospital as well as nurses across the WellSpan system: Happy Nurses Week! As we begin our celebrations this week, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your ongoing commitment to working as one to improve health through exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities. It is an honor and privilege to serve our communities with you!

Susan Duchman, BSN, RN. Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) Medical Center: I want to recognize and thank the more than 1,500 nurses 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.

Paula Edwards, BSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer of Faith Community Health System (Jacksboro, Texas): I would like to take this opportunity to express the great appreciation and admiration that we have for our nurses here at Faith Community Health System and for nurses everywhere. Our nurses are amazing men and women. They go above and beyond consistently. They pour their lives out for the patients we serve. Our nurses miss holidays with their families and many other events so they can be available to provide outstanding care for those who come to us for care. 

It is a privilege to be a part of such an awesome team. There are no words to adequately express what a difference you make. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are the best of the best and true heroes!

Mary Fagan, PhD, RN. Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Rady Children's Hospital (San Diego): Celebrating this month is truly one of my favorite times of the year. It is when our country, our profession and our organization come together to honor the vital role nurses play in society. For 2023, the national theme is "Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere — Always." This theme describes the significant impact nurses have in the lives of others in so many settings and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care displayed by nurses every day.

Thank you for making nursing one of the most valued professions in our society and for making such a profound difference in the lives of those you serve. Please know how grateful and proud I am of every nurse at Rady Children's Hospital for the expertise and dedication you demonstrate in your care for our patients and families and for the difference you make in their lives.

Kate FitzPatrick, DNP, RN. Connelly Foundation Chief Nurse Executive Officer at Jefferson Health (Philadelphia): Courage, compassion and expertise are defining qualities of Jefferson nurses. As we celebrate the profession of nursing during May, I reflect on how your practice and acts of grace inspire me, and I am reminded of the profound impact you have on the patients, families and communities you serve. Thank you for continuing to provide safe, high-quality and uncompromising care every day.

In the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, your remarkable dedication has remained unwavering and constant. I am proud to be a Jefferson nurse, but I am even prouder to call each of you my colleagues. Thank you for all that you do to improve lives each and every day.  You are making a meaningful impact, one patient and one moment at a time.

Regina Foley, PhD, RN. Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer and Interim Chief Nurse Executive at Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.): In celebration of National Nurses Week, I want to recognize the more than 8,600 Hackensack Meridian Health nurses who deliver high quality, compassionate care to our patients each and every day. Our nurses consistently illustrate the very best of the nursing profession, and their work has resulted in Hackensack Meridian's national reputation for nursing excellence. We express our utmost gratitude to all nurses, especially our very own. You are the backbone of our organization.

Heather Franci, BSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer and Service Line Director of the Heart Center, Lung Center, Brain & Spine and Oncology Services at Penn Highlands Healthcare (DuBois, Pa.): Today's nurses make a difference in the lives of everyone they touch. At Penn Highlands Healthcare, our nurses are among the best in the region. These men and women have the knowledge and skill to work anywhere they choose, but they choose to provide care to the patients in our rural communities — where they are needed most. Our nurses thrive in our community hospitals, and our patients truly benefit from their high level of care and compassion. Our nurses are the heart of our health system and it is a privilege to work with them.

Pat Givens, DHA, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Children's Hospital Colorado (Aurora): I would like to share my deepest gratitude for the nurses at Children's Hospital Colorado and pediatric nurses across the country. This past year was truly extraordinary, both in the circumstances we encountered (including the RSV surge unlike anything we've seen before in Children's Colorado history) and in the innovative, patient-centered ways nurses collectively rose to meet the needs of patients, their families and each other.

As I reflect on all we have weathered together, I am humbled and inspired by the incredible things our nurses continue to accomplish — from research and innovation that changes lives and transforms child health, to moments of compassion and connection that bring hope and comfort to our patients and their families, and everything in between. Thank you to all nurses who continue providing a beacon of hope for children and their families. Happy National Nurses Week!

Melissa Hall, MSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Clinical Services at Calvert Health (Prince Frederick, Md.): I would like to thank all nurses, no matter where they work. We continue to face increased workloads and stressors associated with high volumes and demands, both personal or professional. A nursing career has a reputation of perseverance and stability that has made it appealing to many, but one of its strongest features is empathy and caring. As nurses, many of us have made it our life's work to ensure that our patients feel cared for. I feel this is the central theme of Florence Nightingale's philosophy. So, thank you for caring, persevering, and growing as an organization during some of the most difficult times we will ever face. You are all an inspiration.

Andrea Hauser, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer of Gundersen Region at Bellin and Gundersen Health Systems (La Crosse, Wis.): It is my honor to extend gratitude to nurses who serve with Bellin and Gundersen Health System and to colleagues nationwide. Nurses are uniquely positioned to help innovate care delivery, while elevating the importance of their profession that makes up nearly half of our nation's workforce at 4.4 million strong. My pride and thanks goes out to all nurses who bravely tried new technology and new models of care, created relationships of advocacy with our state leaders, and creatively engaged to improve our future. I am inspired by you. We see your effort and we are with you as we care together.

Jeffrey Heist, MSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery (Lima, Ohio): I have always been impressed by the number of nurses who are willing to stay late, work extra and lose time with their own family, just to help take care of our patients. The patients never know that you have sacrificed that time just to be there with them. Each and every one of you have taken the time to help those patients and families remain calm, have hope that they or a loved one may be okay. If they could not manage to cope with the pain, heartache, or sudden disaster in that moment, you took the time to let them know that you cared enough to hold their hand, spend extra time explaining what was happening and even holding back your own tears until the family had been cared for and you cried alone on the drive home.

Nurse Appreciation Week is never long enough. One week every year of "thank you" for all you do will never make up for the lifelong sacrifice that so many of you have made. We all know it is "part of the job" and being called a "hero" becomes a cliché. Your perseverance, dedication and knowing that the patient is always the priority is why this profession is like no other. I only hope that I will be lucky enough, someday, to have one of you take care of me or my family during our worst day. I have and will always be honored, impressed and in awe of what each of you do, to continue to make the profession of nursing so special. Thank you!

Theresa Horne, MSN. Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Hospital Sisters Health System (Springfield, Ill.): I am deeply appreciative of our nursing colleagues who provide exceptional care to those served by Hospital Sisters Health System's 15 hospitals throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. One week hardly seems like enough time to thank them for their extraordinary accomplishments, especially as the last couple years have brought so many challenges in healthcare. I am so proud of how our nursing colleagues have demonstrated their resiliency, commitment and passion for their profession. Nursing isn't just a career, it is a calling, and I couldn't be prouder and more thankful of the nurses who have chosen HSHS as the place to pursue their calling. It is in their hands, and from their hands, that our patients are provided high-quality, reliable care. Thank you to the hardworking nurses everywhere for all that you do! Happy Nurses Week!

Jonna Jenkins, DNP, RN. Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Hutchinson (Kan.) Regional Medical Center: Nursing has long been recognized as the most trustworthy profession and for good reason. Nurses work long hours providing care to the most vulnerable individuals within our population. They do this not for glory or esteem, but because they desire to create a better world to live in. A world where healthcare is prioritized.

Nursing is both an art and a science. The educational rigor of nursing education helps to maintain the integrity of the profession, but even the most advanced scientific degree doesn't help the person that is alone and scared in their hospital room at night. Or the parents who are trying to keep a brave face as their child undergoes chemotherapy. The hand on the shoulder, the reassuring words, the comfort of a shoulder to cry on, or the hour-long education session to help ease a worried mind: Those are the art of nursing. 

I am incredibly proud to call myself a nurse and even more proud of the profession. Please take some time to reflect on the amazing accomplishments you have made as a nurse and those made by the profession. Be proud, lift your heads high!

Scott Jessie, MSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at SUNY Upstate University Hospital (Syracuse, N.Y.): We are the only profession that is consistently at the patient's side, providing care, support, education and comfort. We help navigate the complexities and confusion of the system, remove barriers to care, and ensure patients and families get what they need to improve their health or manage difficult diagnoses with grace. We are the most trusted profession for an incredible 21st consecutive year. That doesn't happen by accident and is such a testament to who nurses are, what they do, and what they mean to our patients. Thank you for all you do every day!

Karen Keady, PhD, RN. Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive at University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center: I am incredibly proud and inspired by the amazing nursing staff at University of Rochester Medical Center. Nurses who provide compassionate care and build respectful, meaningful relationships with patients are crucial to patient satisfaction, positive medical outcomes and the well-being of our entire community.

Nursing's role at the heart of healthcare has never been more evident than during the past three years as we battled the COVID-19 pandemic. We learned during the pandemic how healthcare delivery can and must evolve to meet the changing needs of our patients and communities. Our nurses are partnering with our health system to help bring our profession forward and contributing their ideas and energy to a new workplace that will make this rewarding profession accessible and attractive to the next generations of nurses. Nurses at URMC and everywhere: Thank you for all that you do!

Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, RN. President of the American Nurses Association: It is with sincere appreciation and the utmost respect that I give all nurses out there, in every setting and role, a special shoutout with a resounding THANK YOU. I say that as both a fellow nurse and a wife and mother who has been on the other side, witnessing the hard work, devotion and expert care you provide to your patients each and every day. This is your month, and during it we take special time to honor you not just with words, but also with actions. As president of the American Nurses Association, we are committed to advocating on your behalf because the unparalleled knowledge and skill that you bring to the healthcare delivery system requires safe work environments and staffing levels, and support for your own mental health and well-being.  You deserve every bit of recognition you are given this month and beyond, because the work you do is monumental and invaluable. Without you there is no healthcare — you truly make a difference.

Kim Meeker, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Henry Ford Wyandotte (Mich.) Hospital: It is with sincere appreciation that I take this moment to thank each and every nurse for your continued commitment and compassion. The world would be lost without you! I am incredibly humbled to work on your behalf to continue to advocate for you personally and for our shared and precious profession.

Joanne Miller, DNP, RN. Chief Nurse Executive at Baystate Health and Chief Nursing Officer at Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, Mass.): Our incredible nurses have stepped up in countless ways to lead every challenge with grace, grit, love and passion for nursing. As guardians of safety and quality for our patients, our nurses are committed to strengthening our shared sense of purpose, learning and improving through the Daily Management System. Thank you for rekindling the art and science of nursing. I am truly humbled to work alongside you and for you.

Catherine Mohr, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Dosher Memorial Hospital (Southport, N.C.): Thank you for the daily influence and care that you provide to each other and our patients. You are the soul of every organization at the heart of the work. Your commitment and energy to carry the torch on both the good and bad days brings me hope that we have not lost our passion for our profession. These challenges often turn out to exemplify excellence. It is no surprise that we continue to be rated as the most trusted professionals! Individually and collectively you are making a difference, and for this I thank you.

Holly Muller, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer for Presbyterian Delivery System (Albuquerque, N.M.): Nurses Monthis a time to honor and thank our amazing nurses for their dedication and commitment to those we serve. Our 3,500-strong nursing workforce does it all. They care for patients and members at the bedside, in rural clinics and city hospitals, in their homes and on the phone. Without the dedication, compassion and expertise of our nurses, Presbyterian could not achieve our purpose to ensure all patients, members and communities we serve in New Mexico achieve their best health.

Beth Oliver, DNP, RN. Chief Nurse Executive and Senior Vice President of Cardiac Services at Mount Sinai Health System (New York City): National Nurses Month is a celebration honoring the unparalleled impact that nurses have on healthcare and beyond. Nurses are appreciated each day throughout the year, but we take this month to remind our nursing teams of the crucial contributions they make to patients, families and our communities. 

We honor the diverse roles of nurses and the positive impact made, not only in healthcare, but also in other fields including research, informatics and population health. I want to thank every nurse at Mount Sinai Health System for making a difference in the lives of our patients and families, and improving and promoting the health of the diverse communities that we serve.

Allison Paul, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at HSHS St. John's Hospital (Springfield, Ill.): Our nurses live our mission to reveal and embody Christ's healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan healthcare ministry. Not only do they live this within the hospital walls, but they carry this mission and mindset of service to others out into the diverse communities in which they live and serve. While celebrations and accolades are shared during this week annually, we know that the work of nurses is a vital contribution to the health of our communities, day in and day out.

Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN. Senior Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston): I am thankful to nurses everywhere who have answered their calling to our extraordinary profession. I am especially grateful for the nurses of Brigham and Women's Hospital and am privileged to work with such caring professionals who are highly skilled in both the art and the science of nursing. It's truly impossible to quantify what a nurse's compassion means to patients and loved ones, whether it's holding a hand during a difficult time, lending a listening ear or arranging for special moments and celebrations at the bedside. Thank you to our Brigham nurses and nurses everywhere for making a difference, beyond measure, to the patients, families and communities we serve.

Jacqueline Pester-Babcock, MSN, RN. Regional Chief Nursing Officer-Region II, Prime Healthcare (Ontario, Calif.): I want to commend and thank all our wonderful nurses for your dedication to the profession and the compassionate care you provide for our patients every day. Nursing is a noble profession, burdened with preserving human dignity amid uncertainty. Together with their colleagues, nurses meet and care for people when they are most fragile, bringing hope to what may sometimes be the most challenging day of their lives.

As a nurse myself, I am inspired by what you do for our patients and each other, and I am proud to work with such a talented nursing team. Working alongside you toward our shared goal of providing safe, quality patient care is an honor and a privilege.

Linda Roan, MSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at East Morgan County Hospital (Brush, Colo.): I have been an RN for the last 46 years and have witnessed and experienced so many changes in healthcare and nursing. I truly believe we are living in the golden age of nursing. Never have we experienced so many opportunities to make a positive difference in patients and their families' lives. We have all been through a very stressful few years, but with great challenges often occurs equally meaningful rewards. I hope that you can look back on the challenges and see the significant rewards you have experienced and the wonderful differences you have made in your communities. You still are and will always be healthcare heroes! Thank you all for what you do every day in work and in your communities.

Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN. Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive, University of Maryland Medical System (Baltimore): This is always a time for us to reflect and express gratitude for the remarkable and diverse contributions of nurses to humankind. Advocating for their patients in profound ways, nurses use their insight, expertise and ability to connect many dots and create a fabric of care that is individualized and positively supports their patients to achieve their health goals. Nurses have the privilege of holding their patients and families in their hands during some of the most vulnerable and challenging moments of their lives. Nurses carry out their work with grace and innovation, and frequently touch their patients' lives in lasting and memorable ways. 

The nurses of University of Maryland Medical System demonstrate our collective mission and values every single day. Their impact on our patients and communities is a source of deep pride for us and we have immense gratitude for their expertise and kindness. To all of the nurses in our health system and to nurses everywhere, I extend endless admiration and appreciation for each one of you. 

Deana Sievert, DNP, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus): The nursing theorist and nursing professor Jean Watson is quoted as saying "Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their greatest strength and fatal flaw." I'm not sure if there is a truer statement ever, especially after the last several years. This is exactly why, as we reflect on this Nurse's Week, we need to move to a deeper level of gratitude for those who continue to serve, have served, or are stepping into their first nursing role. 

So, thank you to all the nurses who go above and beyond each day, who give more than they have, who can't give anymore but still show up and to those that have paved a path before us. We see you; we value you and we are eternally grateful. Nursing is a beautiful gift to this world. Let's ensure those who are nurses understand their worth and value! Thank you to nurses everywhere! Let your light continue to shine bright!

Maureen Sintich, DNP, RN. Chief Nurse Executive at Inova Health System (Falls Church, Va.): I am writing to express my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to each and every one of you for your unwavering commitment and dedication to providing exceptional healthcare to patients across our nation. From the bedside to the community, you have risen to the challenges of our profession and shown perseverance in the face of adversity. Your kindness, empathy, compassion, and expertise make a difference in the lives of countless patients and their families. You are true heroes in our society and the backbone of our healthcare system. Above all else, I would like to honor the Inova nurses. I am so grateful to serve as your chief nurse executive and want to recognize and acknowledge your invaluable contributions in saving lives, promoting health and improving patient outcomes.

Bryan Sisk, DNP, RN. Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston): As the healthcare landscape continues to rapidly change, I am excited to see our nurses at the forefront of this transformation — using their training, skills and compassion to deliver care at the bedside while also driving the future of healthcare for our patients and communities. I'm inspired and deeply honored to work alongside Memorial Hermann's exceptional nursing team, which is made up of more than 12,000 nurses, who each help us deliver on our mission to improve health for individuals and families across Greater Houston.

To our nurses across Memorial Hermann: Thank you for dedicating your career to serving others during their greatest times of need. Thank you for humanizing the experience for our patients and their loved ones when they need comfort and personalized care. And thank you for offering support and hope to others in a way only a nurse can.  

Helen Staples-Evans, DNP, RN. Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Loma Linda (Calif.) University Health: I want you to know that our entire administrative team sees how you make a tremendous difference in the lives we serve. I receive so many appreciative comments about our nursing team from patients and family members. These intensely personal stories tell how your care has furthered their healing. Their deep gratitude speaks to how you brought hope to those arriving at our doors during life's most fragile moments. 

Outstanding patient care takes a team, and each of you on this team continues to inspire me. No challenge is too great for this exceptional group of nurses. Loma Linda University Health is a better place because you chose to join the nursing profession and serve here. The work you do every day matters. Our patients and community are deeply grateful for your amazing efforts to bring hope and healing.

Karen Strauman, DNP. Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital (Edina, Minn.): As a nurse for over 35 years, I am incredibly proud of the nursing profession and am honored that I get the opportunity to serve as a chief nursing officer for these incredible people. Daily, I observe the unending dedication to care that is provided to patients and their families during some of their most vulnerable times. Despite all that we have experienced in healthcare over the last three years and regardless of the present challenges, nurses continue to be present and weather the storm. I extend a world of gratitude to all nurses in whatever role they provide. It's a privilege to celebrate such an honorable group.

Janet Tomcavage, MSN, BSN. Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive for Geisinger (Danville, Pa.): Every year between May 6 and May 12, we observe National Nurses Week. It's a time to celebrate and recognize the efforts of all nurses, including our more than 7,000 dedicated nursing team members at Geisinger. And it's a chance to reflect on all nurses' contributions and commitment to a profession that’s as challenging as it is rewarding.

It takes a special person to be a nurse — to provide care that’s equally expert and compassionate, combining clinical expertise with empathy to care for people often in their most vulnerable moments.

As we begin National Nurses Week, I'd like to thank all our amazing nurses across the country — from the bedside to the clinic, classroom, helicopter, home or health plan — for the tremendous impact they have on our healthcare systems and beyond. And I thank the future nurses, our students who have taken the first step in this journey. Nurses are the heartbeat of healthcare — we couldn't provide the high-quality care our patients, members and communities deserve without you. Thank you for all you do, this week and all year long.

Dori Unterseher, MSN, RN. Chief Nursing Officer at Harbor Regional Health (Aberdeen, Wash.): I am abundantly appreciative of all the nursing staff who remained committed to our community while more lucrative opportunities were, and still are, available. Their resilience, patience and grace under pressure shine as examples of commitment, not just to patient care, but to excellence in the quality of care and caring they provide to all who come. It is a privilege to serve as your leader, a task I would be less successful in were it not for you.  Thank you all. 

Kristin Wolkart, RN. Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (Baton Rouge, La.): Over my career in nursing, I have been amazed and humbled by the innovation, ingenuity, bravery and dedication of the nurses I am so honored to work with each day. Nurses are involved in every aspect of healthcare; they care for people from birth through death. The dedication and passion I have witnessed, especially over the past three years surviving the pandemic, should make everyone proud to be a nurse.

I am in awe of the dedication I have witnessed across my system and I am grateful to be able to lead nursing for FMOLHS across Mississippi and Louisiana. Thank you to all of our amazing teams of RNs, LPNs, CNAs and MAs that care for our patients whom we are so privileged to serve in our communities. I am proud of the care you provide. You make a significant difference!

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