On the front lines

Celebrate Nurses Week May 6–12

By Deb Dittner

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse.

My maternal aunt was a nurse and her husband a chiropractor, and all I ever dreamed of was becoming a nurse just like her. I never really saw her providing “nursing” care to patients, but knew she was very caring, gentle and loving of people.

Why wouldn’t I want to emulate that kind of professionalism in adulthood?

Fast forward — I went to a four-year nursing school and shortly after that, went to nurse practitioner school. This is all I’ve ever known other than expanding what I do and my schooling to provide education in whole nutrient-dense foods — including comfort foods — and lifestyle changes all of which creates a healing and caring environment.

During Nurses Week, we need to take a moment to celebrate us!

We need to honor Florence Nightingale (and Florence Nightingale Day May 12), who was an English social reformer and founder of modern nursing.

She is well known for her service during the Crimean War where she organized, managed, and trained nurses in tending to wounded soldiers. Nightingale’s many writings later encouraged worldwide health care reform, providing an everlasting impact on improving public health for the poor.

Time to acknowledge nurses

We need to celebrate nurses while recognizing their devotion and contribution to the profession of nursing.

The nursing programs of today need to continue to educate and emphasize to nurses and future nurses the priority issues facing the profession and care of patients, and how nurses are leading and building healthier communities.

We need to inspire professional nurses to explore creative ways to build on knowledge and overall skills, and collaborate with other health care providers and communities with the goal of improving the health care of the populations we serve.

This will be addressed during the New York State Action Coalition’s annual summit to be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 5 at Siena College, Loudenville.

The college’s Baldwin nursing program is playing host to the summit.

Dr. Jean Watson, a renowned nursing theorist, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the summit.

Times have changed in the nursing profession. There is the personal, political, social, and scientific domain within the profession that has changed the internal fire and heart of the nurse.

Of course, health care improvements occur daily, but what has happened to the interconnections and wholeness of the nurse?

Recent trends in health care often put the nurse in front of a computer screen and not directly at the bedside where it all first began. And yet, they continue to manage.

Many nurses look toward complementary and alternative medicine and the support of the American Holistic Nursing Association regarding trends and ways to continue “caring.”

Let’s celebrate our nurses and other nursing professionals as we continue to move forward with the caring science our profession holds dear.

Registration for the 2018 Future of Nursing Annual Summit entitled “Caring Science: Nurses as Champions for Healthy Communities” can be found at: https://wp.me/P8hzNX-uY.

For more information, contact Kennedee Blanchard by emailing kblanchard@cfnny.org.

Continuing nursing education will be provided.

Registration costs $50 and that includes breakfast, lunch and CNE. The cost for nursing students is $25.

• Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner.com or contact her at 518-596-8565.