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
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.
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