Nursing: More than a Career – A Calling to Heal
Nursing is more than a career. It is a calling. At Bon Secours, we are grateful for the nurses who answer that call every day. Their compassion and skill make them experts of healing and comfort. The American Nurses Association has designated May 6–12 as National Nurses Week. This year’s theme, “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit,” is focused on celebrating nurses who lead the charge for health and wellness in the communities they serve.
It takes a unique individual to be a nurse. Someone with the skill and desire to care for a complete stranger. A person who provides the same compassionate care to the mother with a heart condition, the elderly father with a broken hip, or the newborn who needs a little extra attention as they would to their own mother, father, or child.
An aging baby boomer generation is stressing the limits and resources of our country’s nurses. Recent reports indicate that the number of Americans over the age of 65 will more than double to reach 98 million by 2060. Nurses are needed now more than ever before, and all projections indicate there will be openings for those who choose the healing path.
There may be no greater opportunity to deliver personalized health care than at the bedside of a patient, where nurses interact daily with individuals, their families, and their loved ones. Bon Secours’ focus on the evidence-based practice of nursing is vital in the delivery of high-quality, proven health care. In the most recent Bon Secours Richmond Health System Annual Report, Chief Nursing Officer Nellie League put it best, saying, “Nurses are natural leaders because they’re trained to anticipate needs and bring together resources toward a common goal of providing the best possible care for a patient. It’s a privilege to work in a health system where nursing excellence is a foundational element. We’re breaking down health care silos and working across teams of social workers, physicians, therapists, dietitians, and most importantly, in partnership with patients. We’re all stakeholders in the delivery of person-centric care, particularly at the bedside.”
Effective health care — specifically the care delivered every day by thousands of nurses throughout the country — balances compassion and healing with quality and competence. The central tenet of Bon Secours Health Systems’ professional practice model is rooted in Jean Watson’s Theory-Philosophy-Ethic-Professional Practice of Human Caring Science. Dr. Watson’s well-known 10 caritas processes give voice to the unique contribution of the nurse to health care teams in Bon Secours and the communities we serve.
- Practice loving kindness
- Instill faith and hope
- Nurture individual spiritual beliefs and practices
- Develop helping-trusting relationships
- Promote and accept the expression of negative and positive feelings
- Use creative problem-solving methods for decision-making
- Perform teaching and learning that addresses individual needs and learning styles
- Create a healing environment for the physical and spiritual self that respects human dignity
- Assist with physical, emotional, and spiritual human needs
- Allow room for miracles to take place
*(Adapted from Jean Watson’s Caritas Factors by Westlake Hospital Nursing Staff – Melrose, Illinois)
It’s not glamorous. : Nurses put in long hours, and often their work takes an emotional toll — the result of the weight of the responsibility of caring for another human being can deliver. But along with the stress comes ultimate satisfaction, Including emotional highs and feelings of triumph found nowhere else. Nurses share a special connection with patients as they deliver a continuum of care to address all of life’s stages. Birth, adolescence, growing families, aging parents; a nurse is there to offer comfort and assurance and deliver help to all those in need.
Thank you to all nurses for hearing the call and giving your all. And thank you to the next generation who will answer that call and become another reason to believe in Bon Secours.