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By the age of 12, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. At 14, I was working as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home. Now, four decades later, I feel as passionate about the profession as I did when I graduated from nursing school. Nursing opens so many doors to make a meaningful difference in individual lives and entire communities. With that said, my passion has expanded to how we can truly transform health care with health IT. Based on the data our solutions have captured over the past 40 years, we can empower advancing science in health care with predictive and precision medicine.
The Important Role of Nursing in Health CareNurses are key members of the care delivery team. They independently assess and monitor patients, and with a holistic approach, determine what patients need to attain and preserve their health.
Nurses practice in diverse settings, from major trauma centers and research institutions to rural clinics and disaster zones, and in my case, health informatics. Nurses are talented and skilled professionals who manage patient conditions, prevent deadly errors, teach and advocate for patients and work for better health policies and systems. A nurse is an interpreter, friend, nurturer, innovator and so much more. The most successful nurses have a mix of empathy, flexibility, great problem-solving skills and incredible attention to detail.
Celebrating Nurses Week
The demands of health care have never been greater. Nurses are instrumental in improving the quality of patient care through innovative ideas. With long work hours, the increasing complexity of patient care, tight budgets and high levels of burnout, nurses everywhere are feeling the pressure. I believe the incredible contributions and positive impact from nurses is something to be celebrated. Nurses Week is an opportunity to reflect on the hard work and compassion of America’s 4 million nurses.
To offer a broader perspective, here are some of my fellow nursing professionals from around the globe sharing their thoughts on what Nurses Week and being a health care provider means to them:
“As nurses, we are sought out individually to listen and advise. We see that nurses have a direct impact for producing positive outcomes for our patients, clients and our workplace. Elevating the nursing profession means that advocating for patient rights will be raised even higher. In our training, nurses are advocates for patients. To care for a patient means you protect and support their best interests. As nurses head to the forefront, health care will become more personalized for patients with better outcomes.” — Grace Schreur, lead solution designer, Care Insight and Delivery Development, Cerner
“Nurses Week for me is recognition of the patience and sacrifice that nurses give. It is a shout out for the hours spent honing skills and developing professionally to be the best caregiver possible. I know that lives are impacted daily by the work that I do and the choices I make. I use my skills as a nurse to help develop collateral and influence decisions to improve care delivery. This is what drives me to seek the best path forward.”—John Pierce, RN, BSN, Consulting Advancement Team-Senior Knowledge Leader, Emergency Medicine/ED Charging
“Nurses Week means building and celebrating our profession across the globe – it is about encouraging nurses of the future, reflecting on ways we have advanced, and celebrating with thanks to each other, those in our care, our families and the bodies which govern our advancement. The goal is to focus, advance and bring others along. When I have made a difference to health care delivery, anywhere in the world, I sleep easy at night. Furthermore, when I am able to help others develop in this space, it is truly rewarding. What we do is not just technology. It is making a difference in health and care and human life.” —Dierdre Stewart, RGN, RPN, MSc Dip HCI, senior director and nursing executive, Cerner UK
“Nurses Week is a way to both celebrate and elevate the profession and diversity of nursing. It is easy to think of a nurse as a person you see at the doctor’s office or hospital, but our role is robust: we are coordinators, leaders, mid-level providers, educators and technology experts. We can be found in schools, businesses, hospitals, community centers, so it is a wonderful week to reflect on all the ways nurses serve our population. Nurses are influential in the evolution of health care and are essential members of the care team. The first thing that I learned in nursing school is that nurses are the patient’s biggest advocate.” —Sally Determan, MSN, RN-BC, manager, lead solution strategist, Hospital Operations Strategy, Cerner
“Nurses Week gives us a time to reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of nursing as a profession and the global impact nursing has in our society today. I think about the nursing colleagues I have interacted with professionally or personally and the impact they had on me or the persons they interact with. It is also a time to think of how nursing will continue to impact health care.” —Eric Ringle, MS, BSN, RN, senior solution strategist, Critical Care, Cerner
"Nurses Week is a time to celebrate our calling with those that share the same passion for making a difference in people’s lives. There are many varied positions in nursing, but we all celebrate our decision to be in this field, and we are one in moving health care into the future. In nursing, you will never know what’s going to happen at any given moment, each day is different.
There can be excitement and challenges in a nurse’s life. You have the opportunity to make swift decisions, learn each day and never get bored. It is a thriving environment that I love and enjoy celebrating with others. Making a difference is key to what we do. You can aspire to take on bigger roles, you can change specialties and you can help care for the health of your family and friends. I want to be an amazing nurse. I want to give others care that cannot always cure, but that always matters, always makes a difference." —Susan Stiles, RN, MHA, MBA, FACHE, director and solution executive, Oncology, Cerner
At Cerner, we’re doing our part to innovate and transform health information technology for nurses. Learn more here.