Yesterday, on May 6—the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday—we began our annual celebration of Nurses Week. As you may remember, last year was named the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife due to the extraordinary efforts of everyone in this field. The demanding circumstances from 2020 have carried through to this year, as we know, and so it is well warranted that The World Health Organization (WHO) announced an extension of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife through 2021 as a way to continue to honor our nurses and healthcare heroes.
At Texas Children’s Hospital, this is a very special week where we formally recognize the amazing work, courage and dedication that nurses embody day in and night out. There is no doubt in my mind that the Texas Children’s nursing team is the absolute best. Together, these remarkable men and women truly create the compassionate, welcoming and supportive atmosphere that our patients and their families need during their time at Texas Children’s.
The challenges that this past year presented included some of which we never thought we’d face in our lifetime. Our patients, especially those with month-long stays, often felt isolated and alone while in the hospital.
However, in the midst of it all, our nurses didn’t skip a beat on showing our patients that they are never alone. Nurses are the support system to a parent who is having to make difficult decisions, the playmate of a patient who needs a friend, and the confidant of their colleagues.
The impact that our nearly 3,700 nurses have had on our entire organization, the flexibility shown with every policy change during the pandemic, all while demonstrating compassionate care and exhibiting courage is, to say the least, incredible. Being on the front lines of this public health crisis has only reemphasized the critical role our nurses serve. My number 1 leadership maxim, “leadership always influences or determines outcomes—not some of the time, but all of the time” is undeniably represented through the amazing leadership and unwavering commitment our nurses provide to Texas Children’s patients each and every day.
We would not be who we are without our incredible nursing staff.
Nursing is a challenging and demanding profession, and while it is rewarding to see patients thrive, I know that not every day is a success story. To every nurse who is currently serving—or has previously served—our patients, I thank you for your tireless commitment through every high and every low. I am tremendously proud of your accomplishments and I hope you are too.
As we honor our nursing front line warriors this year, I ask that you join me and thank our nurses for all they do in leading our #OneAmazingTeam.