This year’s National Nurses Month marks an opportunity like none other to recognize the vital service nurses provide. Throughout the pandemic, nurses have endured tireless demands and continue to make endless sacrifices to ensure the health and safety of so many. While we are thrilled to celebrate our nurses every year, the events of COVID-19 have revealed the invaluable contribution made by every nurse in the field.
Take a moment to read their stories of how many found their way to a career in nursing and the experiences that inspire them to continue to serve.
“I had a bad experience as a teenager in a family planning clinic. I was treated with no respect. This encouraged me to become a nurse working with young teens. Nursing consists of showing love and empathy. You have to have patience and respect for your patients. I know that I have made a lasting impact of a lot of young people over the past 30 years. I love what I do and encourage others to seek a nursing career. It is a blessing to be able to help someone. Thanks for the opportunity to share my story.” Patricia Holmes, RN, ADN
“My most memorable moments as a nurse are when I have really connected with my patients. One time I had a nurse as a patient. She came in for an infusion and we were chatting as I was prepping for her IV. She told me how she had to stop working as a bedside nurse when she was diagnosed with RA. She really grieved that loss but just brushed it off with the comment, “Oh, but you probably hear that all the time.” I replied, “Yes, but that doesn’t make it any less impactful for you.” She just started crying and thanked me for validating her feelings. Another time, I had a friendly patient come in and as she was always a pleasure to see, I said in a cheery voice, “Hi! How are you?” The patient just started to cry. I pulled up a chair and started talking with her. Her husband had a brain aneurysm the week prior to this and almost died. He was still in the hospital during her appointment. She hadn’t even stopped to cry once since it had happened and she said, “When you asked how I was doing it was just so sincere.” She was able to express her feelings in a healthy way and I make it a point to always be sincere as I focus on each individual patient I treat. – Camille Swenson, RN
“I love being a nurse because it allows me the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. I am able to help patients get much needed medications and find resources when they don’t have the funds to get what they need. I enjoy educating them and helping them be well informed patients. It makes my day when a patient says they don’t know what they would do without the help I offer. In the end, I am treating them the way I hope someone will treat me as a patient.” – Ursurla Banks, LVN
“Becoming a nurse 15 years ago was the best decision I’ve ever made. 6 years ago, I was given the opportunity to become a rheumatology nurse, and I found my niche in nursing with this specialty! I even recently graduated NP school and am now a rheumatology nurse practitioner (living my dream!!!) I love being able to help in the healing process of patients, to see them gain mobility and independence back in their lives, and importantly, be able to return to a high quality life and improved emotional/mental state. I went into nursing to bless others but it turns out to be the hugest blessing from my patients to me.” – Emily Jenkins, MSN, CRNP
“I was born premature and had been a bit of a sickly child. However, I persevered! My Mom, her sister and her Mom were all caregiver people. I helped Mom care for grandma and grandpa when they were older and sick. At age 6, I remember telling my family at the dinner table that I wanted to become a Nurse. Well, and behold, I did! I started out as a USAF officer at the beginning of my nursing career. I’ve done a little of everything in my career, except for labor and delivery! My favorite was and always has been involved with nursing education. I was a clinical consultant for a medical equipment company for 12 years! That was my favorite job of all time! Now, 34 years later, I’m still very proud to have my license and be a nurse! You can do so much and truly be of service to others as a Nurse! I’m not currently able to provide direct care due to my own health issues, but am happy to volunteer my time, knowledge and experience when needed! I’m so happy to have found the RNS! It’s such a positive professional group of Nurses!! Happy Nurses Week!!” – Suzanne Trapani, BSN, RN
“I have always wanted to be a nurse, nothing else. I knew I wanted to be there for my patients. And I made the most of the varied pathways of nursing, oncology, home health, infertility, infusion, hospice and corporate and loved it all! But one day I accepted an offer to help in a Rheumatology office infusion center and I found my home! I started building trust and affection towards my “ Peeps” ( I affectionally call my patients that and they love it)When I decided to do more for them I went back for my Nurse Practitioner and they cheered me all the way! The practice closed it office and many of my patients followed me if their insurance allowed. They came because they trusted me. It is an honor I can never repay to them. I will do my best to care and strive to make their lives better as their provider. I am truly blessed!” – Nancy Nicolosi, MSN, NP-C
“I have been working in Rheumatology for the last 17 years and it has been the most rewarding branch of medicine. My patients may not feel good but they can’t wait to see me and get their infusion and feel better! I can’t wait to see them and help them feel better as well!! – Nancy C Sanchez, RN, NCMA”
“I feel I make a difference in my patients lives by helping them get positively back into society despite their mental illness.” – Keishia G., LVN.
We could never sufficiently acknowledge our nurses for their dedication and self-sacrifice to prioritize the health and well-being of others through this past year. But we hope each nurse knows how much we appreciate the loyal service of each one of you. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to make a difference in our communities.