It is hard to quantify the enourmous impact of our nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and nursing students working across the Island. When we need help they assess, they treat, and they heal us—they are selfless in pursuit of our wellbeing. If you know a nurse, you know this to be true. To celebrate National Nursing Week and Indigenous Nursing Day, I raise my hands in gratitude and thank you for your commitment to those we serve and your teams.
Nurses work in diverse roles and across many different settings, and are always there to provide the care people in need, when and where they need it! We count on nurses to provide care in hospitals, in long-term care and in community. I’d also like to highlight that our nurses help propel cutting-edge research and knowledge, and they support the next generation of nurses as they learn. They are leaders, experts, professionals, educators, learners, innovators, and role models.
It is fitting that the theme of Nursing Week in 2021 is “We Answer the Call.” Never before have we called on nurses the way we have during the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect and care for their patients, clients, and their colleagues, often putting themselves last. Our nurses have been leaders and innovators in developing and implementing best practices in an ever-changing situation. They have stepped up to help design new services when the pandemic hit to meet the emerging needs of our population, with the establishment of testing sites and mass immunization clinics. Their hands-on expertise and resourcefulness has been crucial to our response to COVID-19.
We must also remember that our nurses are also parents, friends, partners, neighbors, and family members. In addition to managing COVID-19 at work, our nurses are role models at home and in their communities. It hasn’t been easy. Resilience in the face of a world-changing pandemic has been a challenge for nurses around the world. I have heard from so many of my colleagues this year that it has been their teams of fellow nurses who have kept them going. At every turn, they have “answered the call.”
To my nursing colleagues, I hold my hands out in gratitude to you. I acknowledge the sacrifices and the contributions you have made—not only in our pandemic response. In every moment, every day, our nurses have safeguarded others, showing up with professionalism and commitment, providing compassionate care with knowledge skill, expertise, and courage.
Lastly, please take care of yourself—you are important and as we recover and build a new future we need your leadership to help shape what this may look like. Together, we can get through this!
With my deepest thanks,
Vice President, Knowledge, Practice and Chief Nurse Executive, Island Health