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National Nurses Week - THANK YOU from Dean Benefield

National Nurses Week - THANK YOU from Dean Benefield

Dear Colleagues,


I write this on the occasion of National Nurses Day, with sincere appreciate for the work you do. Your work may be as a student or an alumni. You may be faculty in our College, or working in Washington DC or Oklahoma City or San Diego or at a location around the globe. The common thread among us is our affiliation to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing.


I believe that this common affiliation says something about you. You possess a skillset not enjoyed by all nurses. And this skillset is not fully appreciated by some laypersons or members of the media. I am, frankly, sick and tired of the sometimes less-than-complimentary portrayal of nurses and nursing. A recent Google search for "national nurses day" produced too-many-to-count cards reflecting exclusively on the compassion, sweetness, and thoughtfulness of nurses. That's all fine and good, but we don't have the corner on the "sweet and compassionate" market, nor should we be defined exclusively by such. Let's move beyond this to the more accurate portrayal of nurse as expert, as organizer and coordinator of care, as the most trusted profession in the US many years over - in other words, a professional healthcare provider. Nurses are the linchpin to ensuring coordination of services between acute and community care, for discharge planning and sustaining wellness, for constant monitoring and treatment in the intensive care unit. Nurses are involved in policy formation to improve the health of our nation. Nurses are members, and often leaders, of teams that work to ensure the right care, at the right time, in the right dose, within appropriate and ethical standards. 


Your affiliation with the College of Nursing affirms your place of strength in the profession. I hope you continue to use your leadership abilities and communication skills, your clinical and research expertise and, yes, your compassion, to ethically and professionally provide the nursing and healthcare services required to improve the health of Oklahomans and the nation. There really isn't another choice.


Lisa Macias and team have created a video in celebration of all you do – please take a look:


I thank you for your commitment and service, and I am proud of our Sooner Nursing community. I'd love to hear your thoughts, and Happy Nurses Day!


Dean Lazelle E Benefield


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