The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the nation’s largest single employer of nurses, joins the American Nurses Association in honoring America’s nurses dedicated to saving lives and maintaining the health of millions of individuals during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.
This year’s Nurses Week theme is “Nurses: Trusted to Care” and VA health care facilities throughout the country will pay tribute to their 83,000 nurses who Martinsburg VA Medical Center Director Ann Brown describes as “the compassionate backbone of VA’s world-class health care system.”
National Nurses Week began on May 6, marked as Nurse Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. During this week, nurses at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center are being honored with the “Excellence in Nursing Ceremony”, a Nurses Tea, an evening banquet and a “Walk in My Shoes-Me and My Shadow” event.
Additionally, the nursing staff received congratulatory comments from Ellen Swartwout, Director, Pathway to Excellence, for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for their recent national “Pathway to Excellence” designation. The Martinsburg facility is the first Nursing Service in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the first health care facility in West Virginia to achieve this designation.
The ANCC is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization. This designation recognizes the essential elements of an optimal nursing practice environment and is earned by health care organizations that create work environments where nurses can flourish.
Susan George, Chief Nursing Executive, said “the national certification verifies the pride our highly qualified nursing staff has in the organization and their commitment and compassion. The outstanding caliber of our staff and the quality of their work has created a Martinsburg legacy that we can be very proud of.”
During the annual Excellence in Nursing Ceremony today the medical center announced its Nurses of the Year.
The Martinsburg VA Medical Center Nurses of the Year are:
• Gaynitha Smith-Washington, Certified Nursing Assistant, Dementia Unit
• George Laney, Licensed Practical Nurse, Behavioral Health Programs
• Debra Gaudio, Registered Nurse, Behavioral Health
• Carmen Rodriguez-Munyan, Registered Nurse, Palliative Care Program Case Manager
During the ceremony, George said, “All of these awardees represent a commitment to excellence and serve as role models in the nursing profession.”
National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, work to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society and its veterans.
For more about VA nurses, contact the Martinsburg VA Medical Center Nurse Recruiter, Jan Lorber, 304-263-0811, extension 3708 / 3656.or check the Web at http://www.va.gov/nursing/.