“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul, and body of our patients, their families, and ourselves. They may not remember your name, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

The art and science of nursing has come a long way from its early beginnings. Nursing was once considered a lowly job only for individuals who needed to make a living or criminals being sent back into the community. Many men and women over the past 150 years have made great strides to facilitate improvements in the field of nursing. Through the pioneering work of nurses like Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, Linda Richards, Luther Christman, and Virginia Henderson, nursing theory and nursing-practice standards were established. As a result, nursing is one of the most trusted professions.

Nursing roles have also expanded through the years. Most nurses continue to provide direct care at the bedside, impacting overall patient/resident well-being and positive outcomes of care. This extends beyond the patient/resident to include those that are significant in the person’s life —family, friends, and others — because nurses are often in the best position to collaborate with the patient/resident and his/her care team. Nurses provide comfort and empathy, and create a healing and nurturing environment of caring.

Nursing influences the overall care experience in many other ways. Nursing educators instruct and train nurses on how to implement evidence-based care practices and ensure that they are practicing at their highest competency level. Nurse case managers help patients/residents and their care team navigate the complexities of health-care choices and develop an individualized care plan.

Nurses can continue their education to become advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists. Nursing leaders help establish nursing policies and procedures, and establish clinical operational and strategic-planning goals in collaboration with other organizational leaders.

At Christian Health Care Center (CHCC), our nursing journey has been equally as unique. Established 108 years ago to care for a vulnerable population of individuals with mental-health disorders, CHCC now offers a full continuum of mental-health, senior-life, and short-term rehab services. CHCC’s mission, vision, and values guide our nurses’ delivery of care. We have been truly blessed with hands that can heal, and we greatly respect our responsibility to be “the hands of Christ” to those we serve. We honor the voices and choices of our patients/residents and their care team. We ensure that we provide the education needed to make informed decisions, and we engage patients/residents and families in defining care and treatment goals, and encourage them to be actively involved in their own care.

Nursing is an ever-changing, growing, and improving profession. Nurses are steadfastly focused on enhancing the quality of lives for others. Nurses will tell you that they were called to this profession, and that they are passionate about caring and advocating for their patients/residents.

CHCC celebrates its nurses who provide excellent, compassionate care each and every day. We are proud of all of our nurses, and for the quality of care and level of commitment they demonstrate to those we serve. CHCC’s “I can help” campaign is something nurses do every day… and nurses definitely make a difference!

by Rebecca Dauerman, APN, Vice President/Administrator of Mental Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Christian Health Care Center